August 10, 2022 - Douglas Myser

IRS under scrutiny for political audits. Democrats were seen raising pressure on the IRS, to explain why foes of former President Trump were targeted for a extensive audit after being fired from their government jobs. IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig was questioned about this by the tax writing House Ways and Means Committee, asking Rettig about how these audits were performed by the IRS, which is not supposed to be a political driven government agency. When the news broke that former FBI Director Comey and Director Andrew McCabe were audited following their removal from their jobs as part of the National Research Program, the IRS program in which taxpayers receive an intensive line by line scrutiny of their tax returns and have to engage in intensive back and forth with the IRS. IRS under scrutiny for political audits.

Congress is coming to believe that the audits were performed and administered as punishment for not adhering to what former President Trump demanded of the FBI. A Democratic house aide stated that "Commissioner Rettig will field questions on what has happened". Republicans are supporting an investigation into political targeting at the IRS but have come to the defense of Rettig, who was appointed in a Republican Administration. The IRS describes the NRP audits, the type Comey and McCabe went thru, as helping the agency "identify where compliance problems occur" while tax attorneys describe them as extraordinarily intrusive. The IRS keeps the algorithms it uses for audits based on taxpayers returns secret in order to discourage tax cheats and make sure people can't game the system. While individuals can be targeted for audits based on their returns, a former senior IRS official downplayed the notion that the NRP could be used for political purposes.

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