INSIDE IRS: How Internal Revenue Works (You Over) by Jeff A. Schnepper

INSIDE IRS: How Internal Revenue Works (You Over)

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The indefatigable Internal Revenue Service is too much with us. It is virtually omnipotent in every mundane matter and knows more about more people than any other agency in this country. Lawyer Schnepper systematically takes the IRS to task for misuse of some of its unique prerogatives. He provides scores of examples of various methods haphazardly applied by the IRS to stigmatize, harass, and summarily punish tax delinquents, political dissidents, and any others it doesn't cotton to. He documents the use of jeopardy assessments and thirdparty summonses, invasions of privacy and the hiring of paid informants in a thoroughgoing Baedeker which is more poised than the subtitle might imply. It's less a polemic than a brief, detailing how returns are picked for audit and how revenuers operate. The familiar history of the law's evolution and how the Intelligence Division was used for non-tax purposes, like nabbing A1 Capone or dogging Huey Long, is recounted. More recent capers like the odious Operation Leprechaun (involving booze and girls) and Project Tradewinds (purloined papers and girls) are detailed. But the record is not absolutely bleak. White House efforts during the Watergate excursion to politicize the Service, for example, generally failed and the Lord High Executioner's little list of enemies didn't seem to impress the tax bureaucracy after all. Recent changes in the law are beginning to improve matters, but the subject of procedural excesses in tax collecting still interests too few tax practitioners and is not understood at all by John Q. Public. Mr. Schnepper's audit of the IRS bears interest for the deficiencies it uncovers. Now, we at the IRS have a few questions about certain deductions you chimed last year, Mr. Schnepper. . . .

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1978
Publisher: Stein & Day