Suppressed internal emails reveal that the IRS actively helped tax-prep giants suppress Free File

America is one of the only wealthy countries where you have to pay someone to prepare your tax return; in most other countries, the national tax office prepares a return for you and if it looks right to you, you just sign it and return it (you can always prepare your own return, too, or pay someone else to do it). Read the rest

Leaks reveal how creepy, cultish monopolist Intuit lobbied Congress and the IRS to kill free tax-filing

Virtually every rich country on Earth provides pre-completed tax-returns that you can either ignore (and pay an accountant or do your own taxes), or just sign and return: after all, the government already knows what you're earning and how much tax you paid, so they can do all the heavy lifting for your annual return. Read the rest

For the first time ever, taxes on the 400 richest Americans were lower than taxes on everyone else

In 2018, for the first time in recorded US history, the 400 richest American households paid a lower rate of tax than any other group of American taxpayers: 23%, down from 70% in 1950 and 47% in 1980. Read the rest

IRS admits it audits poor people because auditing rich people is too expensive

Nine years ago, Republican lawmakers gutted the IRS's budget, but didn't relax its requirement to conduct random audits: in response, the IRS has shifted its focus from auditing rich people (who can afford fancy accountants to use dirty tricks to avoid paying taxes) to auditing poor people (who can't afford professional help and might make minor mistakes filling in the highly technical and complex tax forms), until today, an IRS audit is just as likely to target low-income earner whose meager pay entitles them to a tax credit is as it is to target a filer from the top one percent of US earners. Read the rest

When Trump's #TaxScam meant that affluent people no longer had to use the paid version of Turbotax, Turbotax started charging poor people, disabled people, students and elderly people

In most countries, you don't have to pay an accountant to prepare your tax return: the government already knows how much you made, so every year they just send you a pre-filled in form to check over and sign. Read the rest

Understanding "transfer pricing": how corporations dodge taxes through financial colonialism

Every day, the world's poorest countries lose $3b in tax revenues as multinationals sluice their profits through their national boundaries in order to avoid taxes in rich countries, and then sluice the money out again, purged of tax obligations thanks to their exploitation of tax loopholes in poor nations. Read the rest

How the super-rich defeated the IRS's crack Global High Wealth unit

In 2009, the IRS created a Global High Wealth Industry Group to audit the super-wealthy, staffing it with skilled lawyers and accountants who could unravel the webs of "trusts, foundations, limited liability companies, complex partnerships and overseas operations" that were used to hide the income of the super-rich from the tax-collector. Read the rest

Trump hires new lawyer who says not to hand over tax returns as Democrats demand

William S. Consovoy, the attorney hired by Trump last Friday, told Treasury it should not turn over Trump's tax returns until it receives a legal opinion from DoJ.

The weird grift of "sovereign citizens": where UFOlogy meets antisemitism by way of Cliven Bundy and cat-breeding

Since the 2008 financial crisis, the "sovereign citizen" movement/conspiracy theory (previously) has grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to a combination of the rise of antisemitism (long a dogwhistle in the movement, now out in the open), an increase in financial desperation and a sense of betrayal, and the movement's ability to realize real cash for its members, who have systematically defrauded the underfunded and resource-strapped IRS of move than $1B. Read the rest

From the empty, shutdown IRS, automated processes are sending out property seizure notices, and no human can stop them

The IRS is shut down, along with much of the rest of the federal government, but unattended servers running on autopilot are sensing that no progress has been made on taxpayers' attempts to clarify disputed and overdue bills, and so they are initiating asset seizure proceedings. Read the rest

Being terrible with money set Will Smith on the path to super stardom

Will Smith never planned on being an actor. He never planned on being broke and in debt to the IRS, either. In this video, Smith breaks down how being bad with money started him down the road to becoming one of the biggest TV and film stars in the world. Read the rest

IRS E-File system crashes on Tax Day because LOL nothing matters

Congratulations, America! The electronic federal tax filing system offered by the Internal Revenue Service so you can file your taxes today just crashed. Read the rest

The Tea Party's baseless claims of IRS discrimination left the agency on life-support, unable to police dark money gushing through "charities"

In 2013, Tea Party activists claimed that they'd been singled out by the IRS for political reasons, and that's why their associated nonprofits were not being approved by the tax agency. In reality, a longrunning investigation found that the IRS was merely incompetent and understaffed, but the Tea Party's tactic of going after the referee rather than the system worked for them: the result was an IRS that has had its resources cut even further, leaving it less -- nor more -- able to evaluate charitable organizations that apply for tax-exempt status. Read the rest

IRS to America: you were probably already doxed before the Equifaxpocalype, so don't worry about it

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said that he didn't expect the risk of fraud to go up this tax-filing season despite the world-beating Equifax breach of 145,000,000 Americans' sensitive personal and financial data because a "significant" number of Equifax's breaches had already been exposed by earlier breaches of other databases. Read the rest

IRS changes its mind about giving Equifax $7.5m to fight fraud (for now)

Weeks after Equifax announced its worst-in-world-history breach, the IRS awarded the company a $7.5 million no-bid contract to prevent fraud. Read the rest

After massive breach Equifax gets $7.25m no-bid IRS contract to "prevent fraud"

On September 29, weeks after Equifax admitted to having lost the most sensitive financial and personal information of 143,000,000 Americans (but a week before Equifax admitted that the total was actually 145,500,000) (and counting), the IRS awarded the company a no-bid contract for $7,250,000 to verify taxpayer identities and curtail fraud. Read the rest

The IRS deliberately targeted innocents for civil forfeiture program that stole millions from Americans

Banks have to report deposits of $10,000 or more to the IRS, so some fraudsters "structure" their transactions as a string of sub-$10K payments that escape the regulatory requirement. Structuring is also illegal, and the IRS has the power to seize funds that the agency believes were part of a structuring scheme, under the discredited "civil fofeiture" process through which an inanimate object is sued for being the proceeds of a crime, and then the owner of that object has to prove that the object is "innocent." Read the rest

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