Monday, October 06, 2008


I know it's not Halloween yet, but if you want a real fright, keep reading. Apparently, the IRS has had, off and on during the past decade, the authority to essentially entrap citizens by posing as undercover agents and to turn over our tax returns to federal authorities investigating terrorists.

From CNet News:

IRS undercover operations: Privacy invasion?
The bailout bill also gives the Internal Revenue Service new authority to conduct undercover operations. It would immunize the IRS from a passel of federal laws, including permitting IRS agents to run businesses for an extended sting operation, to open their own personal bank accounts with U.S. tax dollars, and so on. (Think IRS agents posing as accountants or tax preparers and saying, "I'm not sure if that deduction is entirely legal, but it'll save you $1,000. Want to take it?") That section had expired as of January 1, 2008, and would now be renewed. This is the first time that such undercover authority would be made permanent.

... There's another section of the bailout bill worth noting. It lets the IRS give information from individual tax returns to any federal law enforcement agency investigating suspected "terrorist" activity, which can, in turn, share it with local and state police. Intelligence agencies such as the CIA and the National Security Agency can also receive that information.

The information that can be shared includes "a taxpayer's identity, the nature, source, or amount of his income, payments, receipts, deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax withheld, deficiencies, overassessments, or tax payments, whether the taxpayer's return was, is being, or will be examined or subject to other investigation or processing, or any other data received by, recorded by, prepared by, furnished to, or collected by the Secretary with respect to a return." That provision had already existed in federal law and automatically expired on January 1, 2008.
What ever happened to being secure in our papers? Fourth amendment anyone? The fact that this has been going on for years doesn't curb my outrage. It makes me wonder how such a provision could be slipped into law so quietly.

Apparently we were all too busy shopping till we dropped with other people's money to pay attention to the gradual creep of the police state brought to us by the Internal Terror Service.

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