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IRS ‘Not Providing Effective Assistance’ to Identity-Theft Fraud Victims

PLUS: Issa on the warpath over redaction of documents needed in IRS targeting scandal probe.

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

Bio

August 9, 2013 - 12:04 am
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Without the Obama administration’s increase in funding as part of its 2014 budget, Werfel said his department would be forced to make “difficult choices.”

“We would no longer be able to sustain our current level of effort on identity theft without significant weakening of the programs,” he said.

President Obama’s budget provides for an increase of $101 million to support IRS efforts to prevent identity theft-related refund fraud. The budget also includs proposals to curb a rise in identity theft through tax returns, including a $5,000 civil penalty for tax-related identity theft.

The GOP budget proposal slashes the agency’s budget by $3 billion, nearly a 25 percent cut.

The hearing shifted gears and fireworks went off when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight Committee, arrived.

He accused Werfel of “slow-rolling” the investigation into the IRS targeting scandal by blacking out thousands of pages unnecessarily and failing to turn over necessary documents.

“I’ll tell you one thing — as these pages, which are almost impossible to figure out, are gone through by the Ways and Means Committee, you better hope, you better really hope that we don’t find something there that clearly should not have been redacted, which we expect we will,” the California Republican told Werfel.

The committee is trying to force the IRS to hand over a series of documents connected with the program in which the department subjected Tea Party and other conservative groups to additional scrutiny for their tax-exempt status applications.

Issa also called the IRS’s legal department “compromised.” He asked that presidential appointee William Wilkins, and the legal department he heads, be restricted from participating in the IRS’s clearance process for congressional committee information requests related to the targeting scandal. Wilkins was implicated in the scandal after a recent hearing disclosed his significant involvement in the tax-exempt application approval process.

Issa stood over a stack of documents more than a foot high that he said had redacted material.

“When you eliminate search terms unilaterally you are obstructing us by limiting the scope of discovery. Do you understand that, Mr. Werfel?” Issa said, complaining that the IRS had narrowed the date range for the requested documents.

Werfel responded that the accusations were “completely false” and there are “substantial facts and evidence” that demonstrate the process is moving forward.

“We’re getting better and more effective at producing this discovery on a day-to-day basis. I have more than 100 employees working on the document request that Chairman Issa raised a concern about,’ he added.

Issa said he had no other choice than to send the Treasury Department a subpoena for many of the documents. Shortly after the hearing, Issa delivered on his promise and sent a subpoena to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew.

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Rodrigo is a freelance writer living in Washington, D.C.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I do wish that Issa could drive ONE issue to resolution instead of this parade of potential scandals that he promulgates. PLEASE, take your ADD meds to finish something! We want perp walks, not show trials. I'm finding it hard to believe that congress is this toothless and can only 'cry wolf', hold a show hearing, and allow the criminals to slither away.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder how many of this identity theft was committed by those poor little illegal aliens the Democrats want to give amnesty to. I suspect the percentage is rather high and that the current administration doesn't want them to be detected at all.

There's nothing here to see. Move along ...

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
UNDER the criminal regime of Obama Inc the IRS has become a primary bludgeon, and for sundry reasons. But do Americans know that these same miscreants will now be armed with shotguns, all in order to 'enforce' the 'law' - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/08/06/irsgate-smokin-hot-e-mails-when-will-the-peoples-nightmare-end-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Does anyone truly believe that these same criminals, running the IRS, give a rat's damn about protecting against identity theft? Do pigs fly?

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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uptil I saw the draft 4 $8787, I accept that...my... friend woz like they say actually making money part time from there new laptop.. there sisters roommate has done this less than six months and resently cleared the loans on their place and got a new Ariel Atom. we looked here,>>>> http://www.wep6.com
Go to website and click home for more details.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
If they dealt appropriately with identity theft, no illegal would be eligible for amnesty.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do wish that Issa could drive ONE issue to resolution instead of this parade of potential scandals that he promulgates. PLEASE, take your ADD meds to finish something! We want perp walks, not show trials. I'm finding it hard to believe that congress is this toothless and can only 'cry wolf', hold a show hearing, and allow the criminals to slither away.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I wonder how many of this identity theft was committed by those poor little illegal aliens the Democrats want to give amnesty to. I suspect the percentage is rather high and that the current administration doesn't want them to be detected at all.

There's nothing here to see. Move along ...

49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
That is because it is a feature, not a bug. The thieves are inside the walls. When you kick God well and truly out of the public square and the populous is not taught "Thou shall not steal" what do you expect to get, but naked self greed?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
UNDER the criminal regime of Obama Inc the IRS has become a primary bludgeon, and for sundry reasons. But do Americans know that these same miscreants will now be armed with shotguns, all in order to 'enforce' the 'law' - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/08/06/irsgate-smokin-hot-e-mails-when-will-the-peoples-nightmare-end-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

Does anyone truly believe that these same criminals, running the IRS, give a rat's damn about protecting against identity theft? Do pigs fly?

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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