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Posted at 1:46 PM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Report reveals threats against IRS workers

By Ed O'Keefe

Internal Revenue Service employees and their families are still facing threats from angry taxpayers in the wake of A deadly plane crash early this year at agency offices in Texas.

The nation's slow economic recovery and lingering frustrations with the federal government inspire many of the threats, according to watchdogs with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which tracks IRS operations and released updated figures this week.

The report doesn't detail any actual attacks against workers but recounts several credible threats.

A North Carolina man is serving 46 months in prison and three years of supervised release for threatening to assault an IRS special agent. The man, sentenced in May, had contacted the investigator by phone in April 2009 and repeatedly said, "I'm gonna off you," the report said. The man also contacted the agent's wife, telling her, "Goodbye, you're not going to see me again, and you will be reading about me in the papers."

A California man was convicted of making a bomb threat against the IRS. The man, who had a history of threatening violence against agency employees, called in a bomb threat against IRS offices in Fresno. Local police and agency security officers did not find a bomb after searching the building. The man is serving five years of probation and faces more than $830 in fines, according to the report.

In a separate California case from Aug. 2009, a man was charged with making a bomb threat after he handed an IRS employee a note that read, "BOMB BAG" and then patted his backpack. Special agents responded when the IRS worker, who had been assisting the man before the threat, activated a panic alarm. Police arrested the man and found no bomb in his backpack, the report said.

A Florida woman was charged in May for allegedly making more than five years' worth of harassing phone calls to IRS employees. She phoned one IRS worker seven times, and in one call threatened to kill the worker and the worker's family, the report said.

TIGTA has handled more than 1,200 cases of threats or assaults against IRS workers in the last nine years, resulting in more than 167 indictments and more than 200 convictions, a spokesman said.

Last February a man crashed a small plane into IRS offices in Austin, killing an agency employee and the pilot. In his suicide note, the pilot recounted more than two decades of grievances against the IRS.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 8, 2010; 1:46 PM ET
Categories:  Oversight, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Typical Teabaggers!

Posted by: TheChampishere | December 8, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

My only complaint with the IRS is that they can't (and apparently rarely attempt to) nail BIG tax abusers.
On the other hand, I was investigated while a vet grad student on the GI Bill at FSU, and years later one of my graduate students at UH, Texas was investigated.

It's so much easier to check the low income folks, AND it avoids battling it out with expensive, outstanding Tax Lawyers.

Except for that ONE complaint, I have no squabbles with the IRS - Just the amoral Politicians who arrange obscene Tax Cuts for the ultra wealthy, like Koch Brothers, McConnell and Boehner.

Posted by: lufrank1 | December 8, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

The subjects don't like the tax collectors? Amazing.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 8, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Agree; how is it that so many, politicians, lobbyists, athletes, and entertainers alike go years w/o IRS investigations of their tax deficits?
But regarding the threats made to IRS employees, then the judicial system should throw the book at those making the threats, harassing the workers and their homes. They are increasingly getting by with behaviors that should land them in jail for such criminal behavior. Taxation in one form or another is part of our way of life as it is in many other countries. These people can go elsewhere and live and make their threats there and see what they get by with!

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | December 8, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

It's only going to get worse. If you think people are angry about the IRS, you ain't seen nothing yet. Here's why:

1)The health care reform law requires all businesses to report to the IRS, all purchases from another business that are at least $600. That's total annual purchases, not just individual ones of $600+. In other words, every business becomes an IRS snitch. Catching unreported business income for tax purposes, is one of the funding sources for Obama's health care reform law.

2)Under the health care reform law, if you don't obtain coverage (on your own or through your employer), you will pay an annual penalty. How will it be enforced? The IRS, of course. Your tax refund will be reduced to pay the penalty.

Posted by: coakl | December 8, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I am convinced that the honor of the taxpayer is the greatest force in income tax collection. The honesty and the integrity of the taxpayer is irrefutable. All citizens, out of respect for government do their duty and pay what is owed. Too often we see government as our opponent rather than on our side. It is refreshing to live in this great country.

I do have a proposal, and that is that decentralizing the federal tax districts, rather than having the center in Washington, the country should be divided up into tax districts. This would eliminate bottlenecks in The IRS in Washington. A proportionate tax on goods purchased should be the principal source of tax revenue, pay roll taxes should assume a minor priority. I will have more later.

Posted by: nelson10 | December 8, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse


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Posted by: itkonlyyou414 | December 8, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Funny that WaPo mentions this...

Back when the plane killed that IRS worker in Texas, the Post ran an article which basically very strongly implied that the murderer had done a reasonable thing given how the IRS operates and taxes are unfair and blah blah blah.

It was the most abhorrent opinion I've ever read from a Post writer, and I cancelled my subscription -- 25 years strong -- that day.

(Now if I had any brains, I'd stay off this online site forever too, but that's another story...)

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | December 8, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Something implementing a flat tax could easily fix. With a flat income tax and no deductions the need for IRS workers would be almost eliminated. Therefore no need to call and threaten any IRS workers.

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | December 8, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

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