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Still no "sunshine" from IRS

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  • Still no "sunshine" from IRS

    Re: Tax Analysts v. IRS et al.

    U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit June 7 affirmed a
    district court decision in favor of IRS:

    Tax Analysts wanted IRS to disclose the closing agreement reached between
    the IRS and CBN regarding the broadcast network's political campaign
    intervention in violation of section 501(c)(3).
    Tax Analysts' argument that the documents are disclosable under section
    6104(a)(1)(A), which provides that an application for tax-exempt status,
    "together with any papers submitted in support of such application or
    notice, and any letter or other documents issued by the Internal Revenue
    Service with respect to such application" is disclosable.

    IRS relied on their "broad interpretation" of Section 6103 to claim that the
    documents are taxpayer return information (i.e. anything IRS touches has to
    do with taxes, and therefore is "nondisclosable under section 6103"). IRS
    denied that the closing agreement had been submitted in support of the
    exemption application CBN filed, despite evidence that CBN's exemption
    application and the closing agreement are connected.

    IRS, in support of their "keep it under wraps" position, pointed to
    regulation sections 301.6104(a)-1(e) and -1(i)(6).

    While the court said such a policy is not commanded by the regulations and
    that "the Service [meaning "IRS"] imputes a definition to the regulation
    that is not compelled by the text of the regulation," they said that
    because Internal Revenue is interpreting its own regulation, the court would
    grant IRS "great deference."

    As IRS's ex-historian wrote in UNBRIDLED POWER, page 81:

    "Congress's attempt to 'open up' government has been a dismal failure. The
    irony is that by taking steps designed to 'protect' tax returns from the
    wandering eyes of politicians, an unwitting Congress handed IRS both a
    weapon and a shield that the tax collector has since used to fend off public
    scrutiny and evade public accountability. . Congress gave IRS a blanket in
    which to cloak itself, providing almost total armor-plated protection from
    the public eye."

    page 164:
    "IRC Section 6103 is the IRS's ultimate defensive weapon. I call it the
    IRS's Strategic Defense Initiative." ... "The broadness of the statute
    permitted the IRS hierarchy to wield 6103 as a blunt weapon to intimidate
    its own employees from blowing the whistle on official misconduct. As the
    IRS self-servingly construes it, Section 6103 gives it the right to forbid
    the release or disclosure of any and all information relating to itself -

    " Income within the meaning of IRC 61a carries
    with it a general requirement of 'realization' ''.
    (Helvering v. Horst, 311 US 112,115-16)


  • #2
    Freedom of information act requests are a good way to obtain information from the govt.


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