The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Death, sure. Maybe not so much the taxes.

Boy, Republicans sure love their tax cuts, don't they? I've always been amazed by wealthy friends' capacity for treating tax evasion like an act of heroism. Of course, what they're really cheering for avarice, as typified by BushCo.

Top officials at the Internal Revenue Service are pushing agents to prematurely close audits of big companies with agreements to have them pay only a fraction of the additional taxes that could be collected, according to dozens of I.R.S. employees who say that the policy is costing the government billions of dollars a year.

“It’s catch and release,” said Douglas R. Johnson, an I.R.S. auditor in Colorado for three decades who said he grew so frustrated at how large corporations were allowed to pay far less than what he thought they owed that he transferred to the agency’s small-business division.

With one exception, other working agents would talk about the issue only on condition they not be identified because they feared being fired. They said a policy intended to avoid delays in auditing corporations was being pushed so rigidly that it prevented them from pursuing numerous examples of questionable corporate tax deductions.

I've mentioned it before, but David Cay Johnston's book Perfectly Legal (so disturbing I actually couldn't finish it) highlights the many ways in which our tax code has been structured to-- guess what?-- benefit the wealthiest Americans and turn the screws on the working class.