IRS Allied With Other Federal Agencies in Disregard for Constitution

In today’s big shocker the AP reports that the IRS has no regard for law:

The Internal Revenue Service freezes tens of thousands of tax refunds it deems questionable without telling people that they’re suspected of fraud, the nation’s taxpayer advocate said Tuesday.


“It is a central tenet of American law that the government must notify an accused person of the offense it suspects he committed and must give the accused person an opportunity to present exculpatory evidence to show his innocence,” Olson said in her report.

Like other government agencies do when caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they try to justify their actions:

Richard Speier, acting chief of the IRS Criminal Investigation office, said the tax agency is “very comfortable” that when it determines that someone committed a fraudulent act that “we do have that correctly identified.”

Speier said the IRS acknowledges it could do a better job of communicating with these taxpayers. Overall, the program temporarily delays a small number of refunds but stops billions in false refunds from being paid to criminals, the agency said.

There is just a teensy little problem here, and I quote (emphasis added):

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

While these sorts of shenanigans would have caused an uproar a few years ago, these unconstitutional acts will probably continue unchallenged while American attention is diverted to the Patriot Act, domestic spying and other frequent and egregious civil rights violations committed by their masters in Washington.

Update by Stephen VanDyke: Complying with tax law doesn’t come cheap either, as a recent study by the Tax Foundation has uncovered the average cost of complying with the IRS is 22 cents for every dollar collected (via Sploid):

In 2005 individuals, businesses and nonprofits will spend an estimated 6 billion hours complying with the federal income tax code, with an estimated compliance cost of over $265.1 billion. This amounts to imposing a 22-cent tax compliance surcharge for every dollar the income tax system collects. Projections show that by 2015 the compliance cost will grow to $482.7 billion.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Hear hear!

    Yeah, whether or not you pay the income tax, they can steam roll over you for some arbitrary thing here or there that you submitted or didn’t submit 4 years ago. And remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse (unless you’re an IRS agent who left his constitution at home).

  2. Small businesses are crippled by federal and state tax laws as well as intrusive regulation at all levels. It is impossible and unaffordable to always be in full compliance all the time. I know. I was a small business owner for many years and tried my damnest to comply.

    My experiences in business dealing with regulation had a profound impact on my perspective of Big Brother.

  3. My comments have not been favorable toward intrusive government beauracrats. I have no doubt that by now I have been on their radar screen. Oh well, I don’t really care.

    I am fed up with most people cowering and hiding and not taking a stand against injustices. The most dangerous enemy we can have against the people is our own government if we fail to stay vigilant. I guess some of the phrases I just used may be triggers for another investigation of me.

  4. What is equally disturbing is that the IRS leaves the rich alone – after all they have the money to hire powerful tax attorneys to cheat the system and then help defend them.

  5. You know what is funny, who that people still believe that our government does what it says it will do, with the domestic spying on citizens, the War in Iraq, etc. I find it hard to believe that this has not happened already if not before.

  6. What is equally disturbing is that the IRS leaves the rich alone – after all they have the money to hire powerful tax attorneys to cheat the system and then help defend them.

    Umm, do you have any evidence to back up your assertion that the IRS leaves the rich alone? If anything, the retention of accountants and tax attorneys would imply that the rich are more careful about following the tax laws, not cheating them, especially since there are criminal and ethical penalties for attorneys or accountants who advise or assist in tax evasion.

    I know, it’s popular to beat up on the rich, but scapegoating detracts from the real problem, namely the IRS seizing funds without due process.

    Yours truly,

    …keep it straight…