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They Make Deals

I came across this article the other day via Digby. It seems that I.R.S. supervisors are putting tight deadlines on auditors of corporations and limiting inquiries to predetermined areas negotiated by the corporations and the I.R.S. David Cay Johnston of the New York Times:

Top officials at the Internal Revenue Service are pushing agents to prematurely close audits of big companies with agreements to have them pay only a fraction of the additional taxes that could be collected, according to dozens of I.R.S. employees who say that the policy is costing the government billions of dollars a year.

“It’s catch and release,” said Douglas R. Johnson, an I.R.S. auditor in Colorado for three decades who said he grew so frustrated at how large corporations were allowed to pay far less than what he thought they owed that he transferred to the agency’s small-business division.


The New York Times interviewed roughly fifty auditors nationwide and only two would go on record by name, fearing retribution. Supervisors get paid bonuses, get promotions and other benefits for meeting deadlines. It is easy to imagine corporations offering up sacrificial lamb tax-shelters in pre-negotiated deals masking other income tax evasion tactics.

Agents are afraid to lodge official complaints for fear of bad performance reviews, but resent not being allowed to do their jobs. In a time where our country is running massive deficits with major foreign entanglements it is outrageous that this sort of wink-and-nod policy is in place at the Internal Revenue Service.


Mr. Lynch, the auditor who retired in California, and many others complained that the effect of the policy was to allow the Bush administration to achieve administratively a further easing of the corporate income tax burden far beyond what Congress has approved legislatively.

According to Melanie Fox, the only current auditor besides Mr. Johnson who agreed to be quoted by name, a large number of the most experienced corporate auditors plan to retire as quickly as they can because they feel their efforts are not respected.

“A lot of audit experience is about to walk out the door,” Ms. Fox said. “And then what will happen?”

Mission accomplished: F.U.B.A.R.

Billions of dollars outright stolen from the American taxpayer by the Bush crime family and their sponsors. Add this to the list of things to keep our eyes on.

Oilfieldguy blogs at

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