3:04 pm, May 29, 2015

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  • //Slash column
    nnztg8r
    How did you mean "...interesting fall"?
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  • Slash, Burn, and Let Them Eat Cake
    FederalEmployee
    Great column Mike - I am a 25-year IRS front line employee. Our numbers have dwindled to the point that across many states, the POD's are like ghost towns. As experienced revenue agents and revenue officers have retired, they have not been replaced. As paraprofessionals and administrative assistants have retired, they also have not been replaced. There are many managers who share secretaries - or have none at all. Many managers have not been replaced, resulting in one manager supervising employees located across one, two and sometimes threeor more states. Funny thing is that the number of required case closings continues to rise each year. The executives must meet their plan...no matter what. We are told to get in and get out, to only examine one or two issues, and the time span in which we have to complete an exam has been reduced by many months. Quantity over quality. If a complex issue will take too long to develop...expecially a highly sophisticated tax shelter transaction, most managers and executives want nothing to do with it. Many years ago, a particular IRS executive had to testify in front of Congress as to whether agents were being told to ignore issues in order to met the Expected Closing Date. The executive denied this, much to the chagrin to us peons who knew the truth. We all then had to have training called Do the Right Thing. Yeah, sure, nod and wink. Apparently IRS executives do not want to tell Congress the truth about the effects of reduced funding. If I were in charge of the IRS, I would ease the problem of a severely reduced work force by taking most of the GS 13, 14 and 15 analysts, program managers, and glorified administrative assistants and put them back on the front lines. I would get rid of many, many programs and funnel those resources back to the core functions of enforcement, collections, taxpayer service, account management and processing returns. This of course will never happen because it would put executives out of a job. If I were in charge of the IRS, I would stand up to the haughty mighty Senators and Representatives and tell them the bare naked truth. Of course, I would quickly be out of a job.
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  • Thanks for the insight
    deployed decoy
    I can assume as long as I dont claim 99 dependents. Or using a popular tax program come in the green/yellow band warning for an audit. Or follow the lead of one Presidential candidate with $100,000,000 in a 98% tax free trust fund. I have about a 0.00000001% chance of getting nailed cheating on my taxes. Not that I do, mind you. But it never hurts to effectively lower ones tax rate in retirement. Tell us all more please.
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  • Cut and Run
    deployed decoy
    Actually Cut and Run is a much better term for this mess. Burning is going to continue for the foreseeable future, the bleeding from the slashing will never end. It is just a matter if we are smart enough to get out (way out) in front or on the flank of the flame front. I did both. Not a VSIP, far better. It was me Vs the Secretary. Apparently the ordered list of documents the investigator directed released, alerted senior leadership that they had lost before it ever got to court. Lets just sum it up that they lost something like 97,000 to 2 when it all gets added up. They got those 2 points in the last minute of the second half, after the dazed and confused figured out what end of the field they needed to put the ball in the net (our team didn’t even bother to go back on the field for the 45 minute, 2nd half). This will be my last blog as a decoy. This time next week I will be looking down on Iceland on my way home. I may if I elect accept a federal position anytime in the next 4 1/2 months I will be in paid leave status, should I be offered one and accept, external to my current agency... The odds are not promising however I will even bother to apply. I will earn more than a GS9 step 10, RUS retired, when I add in the FERS annuity, FERS SSS, and tapping TSP at 2% annually... Oh and none of my deal included the $27,000 in back NSPS to GS conversion pay that should be paid very soon and if not I have that class action naming the SECDEF to start in a couple weeks. Never give up, that is what they count on. Fight a dirty fight, bring up dirt that would make your mama blush. Bye everyone.
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  • Happy Trails DD
    contrarian
    It's been a great run. I will miss your wit and wisdom. These internet friendships are great but always too short. Let us know where you wind up and what comes next. I'm a few years behind you and am keeping hope alive. We're all entering the next chapters of our lives now. But won't you get tired of sunsets on the beach?
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  • I Was Getting Worried About You
    FederalEmployee
    After not seeing your daily posts, I thought you were sick, on extended vacation, or perhaps you wandered into the wrong part of the desert. I am sorry you had a bad experience working for Uncle Sam. Most Feds are honest, hard working people. I hope you enjoy your new found freedom. To elaborate on my earlier post, I offer a snipit from the Tax Inspector General for Tax Administration's report regarding its investigation of the ITIN program. ITIN's are Individual Tax Identification Numbers given to people who are here illegally and working under the table so that they can file tax returns and pay taxes on their wages. Of course, they are also entitled to claim the earned income credit, child credit, additional child credit and receive refunds of honest taxpayer's money. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx We initiated this audit based on information forwarded to us by a U.S. Representative and a U.S. Senator. The information forwarded were complaints by two Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees alleging that IRS management was requiring employees to assign Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) even when the applications were fraudulent. Synopses of the employees' allegations include the following: º IRS management is not concerned with addressing fraudulent applications in the ITIN Operations Department because of the job security that the large inventory of applications to process provides. Management is interested only in the volume of applications that can be processed, regardless of whether they are fraudulent. º IRS management has indicated that no function of the IRS, including Criminal Investigation and the Accounts Management Taxpayer Assurance Program, is interested in dealing with ITIN application fraud. In the meantime, there is a potential that erroneous tax refunds are going to nonqualifying individuals, allowing them to defraud the Federal Government of billions of dollars. º Fraud can result from lax requirements for documentation submitted with an ITIN application to prove identity and foreign status. Unlike the Social Security Administration (SSA), which requires an individual to submit "original" documents to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN), the IRS accepts notarized copies of documents for ITINs. In addition, the IRS does not question the validity or authenticity of notary stamps because it is difficult to stay up-to-date on State laws governing notaries. ITIN Operations Department employees are not trained on what factors constitute a real document versus a fake one. Further, the IRS accepts copies of these documents. º Accepting copies of required documentation has led to the creation of fictitious identities in the IRS's ITIN Real-Time System, 3 making it difficult if not impossible to later determine if the specific individual assigned an ITIN is or ever was a real person. º The ITIN operation is unable to verify the applicants' existence. IRS employees do not see the applicant as they review identifying information and photographs submitted. 4 Further, documents are not verified with third parties. Results of Review We substantiated many of the allegations set forth in the employees' complaints about the ITIN application review and verification process. We found that the process is so deficient that there is no assurance that ITINs are not being assigned to individuals submitting questionable applications. IRS management has: º Created an environment which discourages tax examiners responsible for reviewing ITIN applications from identifying questionable applications. º Eliminated successful processes used to identify questionable ITIN application fraud patterns and schemes. º Established processes and procedures that are inadequate to verify each applicant's identity and foreign status. to verify each applicant's identity and foreign status.
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  • Got it
    deployed decoy
    Just one more Q, before I head off the grid, surrounded by national park with the Pacific in earshot. If I convert my garage into say, my own newest religion. Kinda derived from all the best the Muslims and Mormons have to offer, with a bit of Christian alter in the middle. Can I claim tax free status as the Chaplain of the Church of Immaculate Orgasm and the 1956 Chevy backseat I use as the alter.
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  • Good luck with that
    contrarian
    If you can get ordained by a some legitimate seminary why not? There are store front preachers all across USA. Not sure how that helps you on your pension though.
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  • "Chaplain of the Church of Immaculate Orgasm"?
    FERS Fed
    DD, you probably will need to nail 95 condoms to the door of a church somewhere to establish your bonafides. Suggest using a nail gun.
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  • Church of the XXX
    FederalEmployee
    Actually, many have tried the old church trick, including the deranged terrorist who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, killing an innocent employee. I only know this from his rambling treatise, not from any inside information which of course is private. I believe in following the laws and paying my fair share. If only everbody else did...then I would be out of a job!!!
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  • Happy Trails
    30years
    I have never posted to this site, but this is a sad occasion. DD as others have said, you will be missed. Your comments have always been good reading. So, Happy Trails from those of us that will remain and maybe check in from time to time.
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  • You will missed!
    CC@IRS
    You should a retirement dinner in the midwest; some of us would love to buy you a drink or two! Congratulations!
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  • Bye DD
    CAfed
    please do not desert us. I have missed you the last few days. Glad things are going in your direction. I too am being booted out - as soon as I train my replacement. Stay in touch and dazzle us with your brilliant smile and comments.
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  • A pinch of stupidity?
    will4567
    The current volume of stupidity at Congress would sink an entire fleet of supertankers. Many times over. Sure - lets cut the people that ensure that income is reported accurately. Sure - lets cut the people where the workload is the greatest. Let's add programs to almost every department in the government, but not increase any budget. And, knowing that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and many other programs are rapidly growing lets not even think about making small tweaks to cut that growth rate. This level of stupidity is also fairly rampant at the local government level also. I just read an article from the San Diego paper where a school district agreed to a bond where they pay $1B in interest over 40 years to borrow $140M.
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  • LTG Russel Honore
    deployed decoy
    Said in the calm between Rita and Katrina around a decade ago: “Don't get stuck on stupid”. All our heros (and smart people) are gone now. It is up to state governors now to defend the homeland. I am counting on the sub bases in WA and B1 base in ID being the first line of defense for the few states that have the guts to stand up to this federal Stupidity. But WA is a DEMOCRAT state. If WA defects and launces a first strike, the bombers will never get out of ground effect. All will be lost. Thank you everyone for the nice thoughts :) I am still waiting on Mod to weigh in though. And if anyone has a Edsil back seat, I might take that off your hands. Many of us at retirement age were conceived on one I believe (oh how I believe). It would make a perfect alter in my chapel.
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  • Romney selecting Ryan as VP sounds like future slash and burn
    Honest Broker
    I'm retiring this year to dodge what's coming down the road if the Republicans get back in charge (or Democrats may pile on too). The Ryan Act went through Congress in less than 1 week, so 2013 does not sound promising for keeping our benefits. Reducing the manpower and authority of the IRS makes perfect sense, if you need to protect your biggest campaign contributors so they have some spare cash. We can all see plenty of ways to save money, but that impacts politicians wallets so it will not happen. Since they write the laws and appoint these agency leaders, I don't see how to push back. I wonder if anyone has tried to start an across the board politician recall election initiative? Oh that's right, they tried that in Wisconsin but the encumbant's SuperPAC outspent the opponent 9:1 on TV adds which appears to have resulted in him staying in office. I just hope they leave my retirement pension alone.
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