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Tag Archives: John Koskinen


IRS Rehires 213 Employees Ousted for Falsifying Documents, Avoiding Taxes, Other Offenses

By Fred Lucas • The Daily Signal

The Internal Revenue Service rehired 213 employees who ducked taxes, falsified documents, were convicted of theft, or made unauthorized use of taxpayer data, an inspector general’s report says.

The Office of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which also first discovered the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups in 2013, examined the agency’s hiring from January 2015 through March 2016.

For these 15 months, the IRS official in charge was Commissioner John Koskinen, an appointee of President Barack Obama. Continue reading


Fire the IRS chief already, Mr. President

By Post Editorial Board • New York Post

Why is IRS Commissioner John Koskinen still in office? A growing number of Capitol Hill Republicans want to know — and they have good reason to be troubled.

When he took over in 2013, Koskinen was supposed to “fix” the IRS — and in particular get to the bottom of the scandal in which the agency deliberately held up approvals for 75 conservative and Tea Party groups that had applied for legitimate tax exemptions.

Instead, what Congress and the public got from him was obstruction, open defiance and a refusal to discipline anyone at the agency. Indeed, he seemed most concerned with running interference to shield the Obama administration from any embarrassment. Continue reading


Koskinen’s IRS Failed to Search Five of Six Locations for Lois Lerner Emails

by Alexander Hendrie • Americans for Tax Reform

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will appear before the House Judiciary Committee to defend himself against impeachment charges following his role in the Lois Lerner targeting scandal.

Koskinen was appointed to lead the IRS after promising to bring transparency and openness to the embattled agency. He has failed.

The IRS failed to search five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lois Lerner’s emails, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee in July 2015.

Over the course of investigations into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal, Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly assured Congress that he would provide all of Lois Lerner’s emails. But based on testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), this did not occur. The agency’s ineptness — or corruption — resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidently” destroyed. Continue reading


Impeach the IRS director

By George F. Will     •     Washington Post

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen faces the House Ways and Means Committee in 2014. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

“Look,” wrote Lois Lerner, echoing Horace Greeley, “my view is that Lincoln was our worst president not our best. He should [have] let the [S]outh go. We really do seem to have 2 totally different mindsets.” Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, was referring to Southern secessionist states when he urged President-elect Lincoln to “let the erring sisters go in peace.”

Greeley favored separating the nation from certain mind-sets; Lerner favors suppressing certain mind-sets. At the Internal Revenue Service, she participated in delaying for up to five years — effectively denying — tax-exempt status for, and hence restricting political activity by, groups with conservative mind-sets. She retired after refusing to testify to congressional committees, invoking Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Continue reading


Jailtime For IRS’ Political Hacks

by IBD Editorial Staff     •     Investor’s Business Daily

After a year’s stalling by the IRS, the Senate Finance Committee has released its bipartisan report, denouncing the tax-collection agency’s partisanship and incompetence. When are these people going to jail?

The Senate report wasn’t entirely satisfactory, given that its criticism was primarily in the compromise language of “gross mismanagement” to describe the agency’s targeting of Tea Party dissident groups.

Using legal technicalities to silence and repress political dissent under the color of the nation’s most feared enforcement agency isn’t mismanagement. It’s a crime.

It’s incompatible with democracy and it shatters public confidence in the rule of law. It’s the very crime the State Department is now condemning in Venezuela: the use of legal technicalities to halt popular opposition candidates from running for office. Until now, this kind of activity has had no precedent in our country, and it must be stopped before it becomes the standard. Continue reading


IRS Scandal – Blame It All On Lois Lerner And Move On?

by Peter J Reilly     •     Forbes

Lois Lerner IRSAccording to statements by Senators Hatch and Wyden the Senate Finance Committee report on the IRS scandal (now on Day 818 by TaxProf count) with the snappy title – The Internal Revenue Service’s Processing of 501(c)(3) And 501(c)(4) Application For Tax-Exempt Status Submitted By “Political Advocacy” Organizations From 2010-2013 – absolutely proves that there was political targeting and that there was not political targeting – depending on how you look at it. (Links to various documents can be found here but you have to poke around a bit.)

The Search For The Smoking Gun

Republicans have been hoping that there would be a smoking gun in all those interviews and documents. I mean wouldn’t it be great if there were a taped conversation in which President Obama ordered the IRS to harass the Tea Party. Senator Wyden indicates that nothing anywhere near to that has turned up. Senator Hatch, on the other hand, thinks the smoking gun has been hiding in plain sight.

“Regardless of whether an explicit directive was given, the President gave the order to target conservative groups at every opportunity – the State of the Union, in press conferences, and in TV interviews. He didn’t send a “smoking gun” email because he did not need to – he gave the order for all to hear. And his political allies at the IRS followed those orders.” Continue reading


Lois Lerner’s IRS Granted Only ONE Conservative Group Non-Profit Status in Three Years

by Alexander Hendrie     •     Americans for Tax Reform

IRS new logoLois Lerner’s political beliefs led to tea party and conservative groups receiving disparate and unfair treatment when applying for non-profit status, according to a detailed report compiled by the Senate Finance Committee.

Because of Lerner’s bias, only one conservative political advocacy organization was granted tax exempt status over a period of more than three years:

“Due to the circuitous process implemented by Lerner, only one conservative political advocacy organization was granted tax-exempt status between February 2009 and May 2012. Lerner’s bias against these applicants unquestionably led to these delays, and is particularly evident when compared to the IRS’s treatment of other applications, discussed immediately below.” Continue reading


Senate Report Finds IRS ‘Delinquent’ in Targeting of Conservative Groups

Rep. Jordan says report shows IRS Commissioner has to go

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

irs-targets-conservativesThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was “delinquent” in its handling of processing Tea Party and conservative groups applications for tax-exempt status, according to a Senate Finance Committee’s report released on Wednesday.

The bipartisan report was the result of the Committee’s two-year investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

“Our investigation found that from 2010 to 2013, IRS management was delinquent in its responsibility to provide effective control, guidance, and direction over the processing of applications for tax-exempt status filed by Tea Party and other political advocacy organizations,” the committee said.

Republicans argue that the targeting of conservative groups was driven by the Obama administration’s political agenda, while Democrats claim that there was no evidence of political interference. Continue reading


Bad Gifts From the IRS

Rep. Peter Roskam is trying to rein in the agency’s use of the gift tax to intimidate political donors.

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., questions ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, as they testify during a hearing at the House Ways and Means Committee on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) practice of targeting applicants for tax-exempt status based on political leanings on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Friday, May 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

 

by Peter Roff     •     U.S. News

Even as Internal Revenue Service Chairman John Koskinen has repeatedly traveled to Capitol Hill for the purpose of justifying the continued existence of his agency, Republicans in the House of Representatives were moving to checks its authority, bit by bit but in important ways.

Last week, the Committee on Ways and Means gave its unanimous approval to legislation clarifying the IRS’s authority to levy a “gift tax” on donations made to certain types of not-for-profit groups under the federal tax code.

The bill, H.R. 1104, the Fair Treatment for All Donations Act, offered by Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, clears up an apparent ambiguity in the tax code, making it clear that contributions to 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) social welfare organizations, labor unions, agricultural organizations and business leagues are not subject to the federal gift tax as some inside the agency seem, by their behavior, to believe might be the case. Continue reading


Jailtime For IRS’ Political Hacks

by IBD Editorial Staff     •     Investor’s Business Daily

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen testifies on Capitol Hill on June 2, 2015. AP

After a year’s stalling by the IRS, the Senate Finance Committee has released its bipartisan report, denouncing the tax-collection agency’s partisanship and incompetence. When are these people going to jail?

The Senate report wasn’t entirely satisfactory, given that its criticism was primarily in the compromise language of “gross mismanagement” to describe the agency’s targeting of Tea Party dissident groups.

Using legal technicalities to silence and repress political dissent under the color of the nation’s most feared enforcement agency isn’t mismanagement. It’s a crime.

It’s incompatible with democracy and it shatters public confidence in the rule of law. It’s the very crime the State Department is now condemning in Venezuela: the use of legal technicalities to halt popular opposition candidates from running for office. Until now, this kind of activity has had no precedent in our country, and it must be stopped before it becomes the standard. Continue reading


Federal judge threatens to hold IRS chief in contempt

Fox News

A federal judge threatened to hold IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in contempt Wednesday after the IRS failed to produce, as ordered, newly recovered emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had ordered the IRS on July 1 to turn over Lerner emails on a weekly basis in response to a lawsuit by the watchdog group Judicial Watch.

The lawsuit focused on the 2013 scandal in which the IRS acknowledged agents had improperly singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.

However at a U.S. District Court hearing in Washington Wednesday, Sullivan threatened to hold officials, including Koskinen, in contempt for not producing the documents as ordered every Monday. Continue reading


The Curious Case of Lois Lerner’s Physically Damaged Hard Drive

by Alexander Hendrie     •     Americans for Tax Reform

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerNew documentation released by the House Oversight Committee this week again raises questions on how Lois Lerner’s hard drive was physically damaged and whether there was some kind of deliberate act to destroy data on it.

The House Oversight Committee report cites an officially transcribed interview with John Minsek, senior investigative analyst with the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) unit. Minsek examined the Lerner hard drive in 2011. In the transcribed interview, he notes Lerner’s hard drive contained “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.” The Oversight Committee report states:

“Using the CI unit’s digital forensic facilities, Minsek opened the hard drive and conducted additional tests. Once he opened the hard drive, Minsek noticed “well-defined scoring creating a concentric circle in the proximity of the center of the disk.” Continue reading


White House refuses to remove IRS chief

by Sarah Westwood     •     Washington Examiner

President Obama has no intention of removing the embattled head of the Internal Revenue Service, a White House spokesman said Wednesday.

“Commissioner [John] Koskinen is a man of the highest integrity with a steadfast commitment to public service during difficult times,” said Eric Schultz, deputy White House press secretary. “His decades of experience turning around both public and private institutions continue to make him the right person to lead this agency.”

The White House’s defense of Koskinen came two days after Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee publicly called for Koskinen’s removal. Continue reading


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