Internal Revenue Service Trying to Deal with Being the IRS

By Aaron Zitner The Boston Globe | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 7, 1997 | Go to article overview

Internal Revenue Service Trying to Deal with Being the IRS


Aaron Zitner The Boston Globe, THE JOURNAL RECORD


WASHINGTON -- Little tokens of hostility, like roaches and razor blades, turn up in the mail. Assaults and threats come at the rate of 50 per month. The budget has been cut for two years running.

Just as paying taxes can be unpleasant, life at the Internal Revenue Service often isn't easy, either. Now, officials in Washington are trying to work out a truce between the tax collector and the taxed.

While there is no consensus on how to proceed, many of the proposals share a similar theme: that the IRS could benefit from ideas fashionable in managing police departments, which aim to improve relations between officers and the neighborhoods they serve. White House officials said President Clinton may propose creating an independent citizen's review panel to field complaints from taxpayers about the IRS. The president may also call for local review boards in each of the 33 IRS districts. People who first suggested the idea to an IRS commission last year said the boards should be modeled on the citizen's panels in many cities that make sure accusations of police brutality and unfair police treatment are investigated. Other measures draw from the idea of "community policing," the notion that police should leave their cruisers and walk the neighborhoods to form better relations with residents. One plan already adopted by the IRS is "problem-solving day," which is held each month in each IRS district, for taxpayers to bring problems to top managers. Separately, acting IRS commissioner Michael Dolan has pledged that IRS offices will no longer be graded on the amount of revenue they produce. Current rules already bar the agency from evaluating agents on the amount of tax dollars they bring in, but the new pledge could lessen the pressure on agents and managers to become overly aggressive in pursuing taxpayers. The push to improve the IRS has intensified in recent days, after high-profile Senate hearings last month in which taxpayers told nightmarish stories of harassment by IRS agents. A Delaware contractor testified that he paid the government $50,000 he did not owe to end a case in which IRS officials concocted a partnership between his firm and a company that had failed to pay taxes. A priest told of IRS agents threatening to seize his bank account and car for taxes he did not owe. A woman told of having property seized because the agency sent notices only to her ex-husband. Stories like these can make it harder for the IRS to collect taxes, said Senator Robert Kerrey (D-Neb.). Because the tax system relies on voluntary compliance, it can be undermined by anything that scares taxpayers from working with the agency, he said. Already, IRS agents are noting an increase in the number of taxpayers who refuse to respond when the agency calls, said Robert Tobias, president of the National Treasury Employees Union. "They're saying, `I'm not going to talk to you. Didn't you see the hearings?'" said Tobias, who represents IRS workers. For years, the IRS has considered calls that it should act less like a law enforcement agency and do more to help taxpayers figure out how to comply with the law.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Internal Revenue Service Trying to Deal with Being the IRS
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.