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How to Make the IRS Look Bad
Author: BobR    Date: 04/29/2020 12:32:24

Since the Coronavirus has arrived, Congress has been passing bills to help keep the economy afloat during the extended shutdowns. Those written by Republicans tend to bail out industries and corporations. Those penned by Democrats tend to help out individuals. The result of one of those bills (the CARES act) was to provide a stimulus "check" of $1200 per person. Those who filed their taxes electronically got a direct deposit; those who mailed them in got a paper check.

Those paper checks were delayed because DICKtator tRump wanted to ensure his signature appeared on them (even though the checks were coming from the U.S. Treasury). Those who got a direct deposit were fortunate enough to not have to see that grotty signature on anything they received... at least - that's what we thought.

Earlier this week, this letter appeared in the mail:


Naturally, we were shocked. The more we looked at it, the more infuriated we became. This was obviously not an official White House letter, because there was no official White House letterhead. The envelope said it came from the IRS. This looked like tRump was using the letter as a campaign ploy, and using the government as a vehicle to do so (which would violate the Hatch Act). It turns out, we weren't that far off:
Americans who received a stimulus check from the federal government also are getting something else in the mail: a letter from President Donald Trump.

A one-page letter from Trump started arriving over the weekend in the mailboxes of millions of Americans who received stimulus payments of up to $1,200 under a new law designed to help the economy recover from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.


A former taxpayer advocate at the Internal Revenue Service called the letter “unbelievable” and said it makes the agency “look like it is the handmaiden of one administration and one party.”

“This will harm the IRS and its ability to appear nonpolitical and nonpartisan,” said Nina Olson, executive director of the Center for Taxpayer Rights. “If I were there, I would be strongly advocating against this.”


The economic recovery law that provided for the stimulus payments requires that a written notice be sent via mail to the last known address of any taxpayer who received one of the stimulus checks. The law says the letter must be sent no later than 15 days after the money has been distributed and must include the payment method, the amount of the payment and an IRS phone number to report any failure to receive such a payment.

The law doesn’t dictate who should send the letter. Asked who decided that the letter would come from Trump, the Treasury Department referred a reporter to Trump's remarks at a news conference on Friday.


Trump’s letter to taxpayers sows further confusion, Olson said, because it arrives in an envelope from the Treasury Department and the IRS. The envelope notes that postage and fees were paid by the IRS.

“Just think of the optics of someone receiving a letter that comes in an IRS envelope, and the first thing they see is the letterhead of the president of the United States,” Olson said. “That immediately puts into people’s minds that the IRS is doing the will of the president of the United States and promoting the president of the United States rather than serving as an impartial broker and administrator of the revenue code.

“That will damage the IRS’s reputation, and it will damage the tax system. I don’t care who is the president of the United States. It doesn’t matter.
(bold-face and italic mine...)

So that's it in a nutshell. The law required the letter be sent out. It did NOT require that tRump do it, nor that it appear to be coming from the Oval Office, nor bear his signature. This is bad behavior at best, and a violation of campaign finance law at worst. This shit needs to stop.

9 comments (Latest Comment: 04/29/2020 19:43:43 by BobR)
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