IRS Abuse & the Ten Deadly Sins
Several highly publicized IRS abuses came to a head in the late 1990s.
Congress held hearings and the Revenue Restructuring Act of 1998 (“RRA98”) was enacted into law.
Many of the RRA98 provisions were added to our tax code. Others were not.
The “ten deadly sins” are an example of this. It is included in the RRA98, but not incorporated into the tax code. The ten deadly sinds are still valid law, however.
About the Ten Deadly Sins
Taxpayers should be familiar with the IRS “ten deadly sins.”
These “sins” require the IRS to terminate an IRS employee if there is a final administrative or judicial determination that the employee committed any act or omission in performing official duties.
The following list of ten items – hence the “Ten Deadly Sins”–may result in employee termination:
- Willful failure to obtain the required approval signatures on documents authorizing the seizure of a taxpayer’s home, personal belongings, or business assets;
- Providing a false statement under oath with respect to a material matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative;
- With respect to a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service, the violation of (A) any constitutional right or (B) any civil right established under certain specified statutes, such as the Civil Rights Acts;
- Falsifying or destroying documents to conceal mistakes made by any employee with respect to a matter involving a taxpayer or taxpayer representative.
- Assault or battery on a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service, but only if there is a criminal conviction, or a final judgment by a court in a civil case, with respect to the assault or battery;
- Violations of the Code, Regulations, or policies of the Internal Revenue Service (including the Internal Revenue Manual) for the purpose of retaliating against, or harassing, a taxpayer, taxpayer representative, or other employee of the Internal Revenue Service;
- Willful misuse of the provisions of I.R.C. § 6103 (the confidentiality provisions for tax return information) for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry;
- Willful failure to file any required federal tax return, unless such failure is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect;
- Willful understatement of federal tax liability, unless such understatement is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect; and
- Threatening to audit a taxpayer for the purpose of extracting personal gain or benefit.
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