Lying Media Bastards

January 11, 2006

Yoink!

What the fuck?

The IRS has frozen refunds for hundreds of thousands of low-income taxpayers without telling them they’re being investigated for tax fraud or giving them a chance to defend themselves, the IRS taxpayer advocate said Tuesday…

More than three-quarters of the returns investigated were for low-income families who claimed the earned income tax credit, a program that provides tax refunds for the working poor. Delayed refunds cause a “significant hardship” for these taxpayers..

The taxpayer advocate’s office estimates up to 1.6 million refunds have been frozen over the past five years. Once a taxpayer’s refund is frozen, the IRS will automatically freeze future refund claims until the taxpayer files an undisclosed number of “legitimate” returns, the taxpayer advocate report says.

The IRS doesn’t notify taxpayers that their returns are being investigated for fraud. And even if taxpayers inquire about their refunds, IRS employees are usually barred from providing any information until six months after the taxpayer’s inquiry.

So, I file my taxes, expecting a big refund, or at one that I really need to pay the bills. The IRS decides that I might have lied on my tax forms, so they freeze my refund without telling me. If I call them up to find out what’s going on, they will refuse to tell me for six months. If I don’t try to find out what’s going on, they will freeze all of my subsequent refunds until I’ve sent them a number of tax returns that they think I didn’t lie on. How many tax returns? The IRS won’t say.

Seriously, how much money do they think they’re really recovering here? Enough to justify leaving thousands of families waiting for their refund out to dry?

Posted by Jake on January 11, 2006 10:00 pm

3 Comments

  1. Report: IRS secretly froze 120,000 refunds
    WASHINGTON — Criminal investigators at the Internal Revenue Service froze more than 120,000 taxpaye

    Comment by Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator — January 11, 2006 @ 10:17 pm

  2. With that many accounts, the IRS will be recovering significant money. You have to remember that under the rebate system, all that money sits in an IRS account earning money before you reclaim it. The interest on an account that size is pretty large. (The same thing happens with the London Oyster card prepay system)

    Comment by Tobias — January 12, 2006 @ 9:54 am

  3. I heard Al Franken talk about this on Air
    America the other day. Here’s another
    little tidbit: These people and their
    files are labeled “criminal” without any
    sort of investigation, charge or trial.

    Sort of a Gitmo version of the IRS.

    What a country.

    Bash the poor and protect the rich…

    Just found your blog. Nice work.

    I’m linking to it on mine.

    Thanks.

    PS. I visit family quite often in
    Laguna Beach. Will I be able to
    get your station there?

    Comment by Shaw Kenawe — January 17, 2006 @ 4:05 am

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