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IRS Conundrum

I just looked up “conundrum” in Webster’s and the 2nd of only 2 definitions was “any puzzeling question or problem”.  If this IRS “thing” going on in Washington DC isn’t a “puzzeling question or problem”, then I do not know what is!

I am an accountant.  I do accounting and accounting isn’t supposed to be political, thus I have tried to stay out of the political fray here because there aren’t any winners, as I see it.  The conversation/arguments can go on adinfinitum with absolutely nothing ever settled, in my opinion; however, I am making an exception with this IRS mess (you notice I didn’t call it a “scandal”).  The IRS is an entity EVERYONE in this country has to deal with; heck, tax preparation is one of the busiest times in the accounting industry, and it’s time, in my opinion, that the IRS is dealt with the same way it would deal with us folks.

Short history lesson: the mess broke out in May of 2013 when the now infamous Lois Lerner planted a question in a meeting of the American Bar Association, in answer to which she was “apologetic” for what she termed “inappropriate actions”. Over the past year or so, through SO MUCH grandstanding and politicking, it came out last week that two years worth of Lerner’s emails had been “lost” through a crash of her hard drive.  A day or two later it comes out that six other “administrative” employees at the IRS also had their hard drives crash in or around the same time as that of Lois Lerner’s.  Folks, in my opinion, this is absolutely absurd!  I’m a “numbers”, not an “IT” guy, but frankly, if there’s one thing I’ve heard repeatedly in this cyber environment it’s: “if you don’t want it to come back at you somewhere down the road, never put it in email” because “emails never disappear”!  Now, I will admit, hard drives do crash and things do get lost; sadly I’ve withnessed this personally, and emails going all over the cyber world may not be so easy to retrieve; however, large companies, like the government, have what’s known as an “intranet”, where folks relate on matters internally.  I’m sorry folks, but I just do not see these emails being gone, to be never again seen or read!  This notion that the IRS and its new director are spewing is just plain incredulous, pure and simple!

Bottom line, as I said earlier, EVERYONE in these United States is in one way or another subservient to the IRS, undoubetdly some more than others.  If any one of us responded to an IRS inquiry for something: “Oh, I’m sorry, I lost that”, the IRS response would be: “Well, you better find it”, PERIOD, end of discussion!  I believe this is the same way Congress should handle this; however, I have one more point: stop the political grandstanding!  Appoint a Special Prosecutor with complete subponea and deposition powers to get to the bottom of this.  I believe, if someone, with full court powers, were to interview, under oath, with the prospect of jail time if they were to lie, ALL folks having ANY dealings with Lois Lerner during this time, it would quickly be found out how all these emails were manipulated.  Finally, if that same Special Prosecutor were to employ or contract with the appropriate forensic IT type folks, ALL these purported lost emails would be found and we might get to the bottom of this.  Let me reassert, as I also said earlier, it’s time the IRS gets dealt with on these issues the same way it would deal with any one of us if we were to be questioned by someone from the IRS.