IRS SCANDALS AND 2016: Will the Presidential Candidates Step Up?

Written by Candace Hardin on May 19, 2015

The last few years have been riddled with scandals that involved the Internal Revenue Service. The fiasco with Lois Lerner and nonprofit applications appear to be just one.

In 2012, IRS tax Commissioner Shulman was quoted as saying that there was “absolutely no targeting” of groups applying for tax exempt status. This statement was proven false in 2013 by a report submitted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration entitled, “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax Exempt Applications for Review.”

This report determined that names and other identifying criteria were used to target certain groups as early as March 2010. Long before Shulman testified that no targeting had occurred.
The majority of any and all testimony by Lois Lerner concerning this particular scandal has been contradicted at this time.

Another example of the IRS and inappropriate dealing is the recent matter of a small business owner in North Carolina.

This owner made regular deposits to his saving accounts as he earned money from his convenience store. His account had grown over the years to the total of $ 107,000.00. This would not seem unusual to the average person. It would seem that the owner was thrifty and saving for a rainy day.

The IRS interpreted his actions as “structuring or smurfing.” This is making small deposits in order to avoid filling out forms for large deposits over $ 10,000.00.

However, there were no large deposits, it was only regular deposits. The IRS seized his savings. He was never charged with any crime and they later refused to return his money. They did insult him by offering him half of his money back if he would drop the case of requesting the entire amount to be returned.

With the help of Institute of Justice, a nonprofit which defends the rights of citizens when the government has taken their rights away, he was able to have his $ 107,000.00 returned. However, his legal and administrative costs to defend himself from the illegal seizure prior to the assistance by the Institute of Justice amounted to around $ 22,000.00. These costs were not reimbursed, nor was he offered interest on his seized money.

So, as the presidential election starts to heat up and the candidates are lining up to tell us how they will benefit us upon their election, remember the IRS and their scandals.

Shouldn’t this department’s existence and actions be a hot topic for any presidential hopeful? Most Americans have always suspected that the IRS was not to be trusted. It is very convenient that the IRS has offered irrefutable proof.


Candace Hardin
Candace Hardin resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She is fluent in Spanish and a student of Latin and history. She is a columnist on and has a blog, Originally from North Carolina, her writing and beliefs have been heavily influenced by the Appalachian culture and tradition.