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* "Money estimated that the IRS wrongfully collected up to $7 billion in penalties it assessed in 1989 but were not owed by taxpayers." (Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty, James Bovard [1994])

* "In 1993, Rohm & Haas, a chemical manufacturer, sent the IRS a check for $4,448,112.88 for payroll taxes; the IRS claimed the check was ten cents short and penalized the company $46,806.37. The company assigned a team of accountants to the dispute and, after five months, the IRS dropped the penalty -- but without explaining or apologizing for its action." (op. cit.)

* "A small businessman in El Dorado, Arkansas, filed over two hundred forms with the IRS. He then received a letter from the IRS informing him that he was subject to a $50-a-form fine for not filling out the forms using a ten-pitch typewriter. He called the IRS to let them know that his business only owned one typewriter and it was a 12-pitch. The agent told him to buy a new typewriter and pay the fines. The result of the IRS action: $10,000 in fines and $150 for a new typewriter." (op. cit.)

* "Donna Todd of Billings, Montana, typed the statement 'Signed involuntarily under penalty of statutory punishment' above her signature on an otherwise accurate return. An IRS agent slapped a $500 fine on Todd for her comment. When Todd refused to pay the $500, IRS agents imposed a lien on her bank account and on her property. Todd countered by suing the IRS and the IRS agent for violation of her constitutional rights . . . The judge concluded that the IRS violated Todd's freedom of speech and, 'by attaching her bank account and putting a lien on her property without first having a hearing . . . violated plaintiff's Fifth Amendment right to due process.'" (op. cit.)

* "IRS officials . . . have ordained that all United Methodist ministers must be reclassified as employees. Rev. Robert McKibben of Alabama informed the House Ways and Means Committee that he was told by an IRS examiner that 'all ministers' are 'statutory employees'. . . Craig Hoskins, council for the United Methodist Church, estimated that over a thousand Methodist clergymen have faced . . . audits over their employment status." (op. cit.)

* "The taxpayer who can't find a lost receipt to justify a deductible expense might take some solace in the way the IRS dealt with a missing contract: It paid $36,000 for maintenance on a computer that had not been used for three years. And what of the taxpayer wondering whether the clothes he donated to Goodwill are really worth a $300 deduction? The IRS, according to federal auditors, valued one of its $13,000 printers at more than $5 million. It bought two pieces of computer equipment at $6 million each and claimed that they were worth $11.8 million each . . . Can't pay your taxes on time? In a random sample of 280 IRS payments to vendors, GAO auditors found that 81 were made after the due date." (Times-Picayune, April 10, 1994)

* "[T]he U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit held last year . . . that a taxpayer has no right, constitutional or statutory, to compel an apology from the IRS, or even to obtain an explanation admitting to IRS errors." (PR Newswire, June 21, 1994)

From the Get Government Off Our Back web site.

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