Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Discretion At It's Worst - IRS Targeting

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Office of Audit report and its highlights tell the story of how "Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status to review for indications of significant political campaign intervention." This Report issued on May 14, 2013 has been the source of significant media attention and President Obama has stated that the Reports findings are "intolerable and inexcusable." (see CNN here).  The Report calls for several recommendations, including "develop training or workshops to be held before each election cycle including, but not limited to, the proper ways to identify applications that require review of political campaign intervention activities."

A couple of observations:  1)  It is good to see that this Audit produced this evidence and that it was not overlooked;  2) It is also good to see that the Attorney General is not taking this finding lightly; and 3) Most imoprtantly the President is not going to tolerate this activity.

Politics do not belong in the agencies of our government.  Whether it be the DOJ, SEC, or IRS - it is important that when politics gets infused in discretionary decisions, someone immediately puts a stop to this happening. Internal compliance programs are important in the corporate world, maybe we need more compliance programs and monitoring within the government world.



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