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IRS finds tax controversy can be a 2-way street

There are few things as intimidating for an individual as a tax audit by the government. Finding a buffer against the stress and intrusion of an IRS audit is achievable by enlisting the help of experienced legal counsel. In the face of such distress, consulting an attorney is a wise move.

The kind of pressure that the IRS is noted for applying to individuals isn't something that one might expect to be turned about and used against the tax agency, but in just the past few weeks that is a concept that seems to be getting some legs. And fueled by the political environment of Washington, D.C., it seems the heat is on the rise.

Evidence is apparent in a variety of events. First, there was the disclosure about six weeks ago that the IRS had inappropriately highlighted some tea party groups seeking tax exempt status for increased review.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, tea party supporters rallied at the Capitol. The overriding cry of the crowd was for an audit of the IRS, but under that umbrella there were also calls for broader action to scale back government. Some protesters used the moment to demand cuts at or the outright shutting down of the Justice and State Departments, Environmental Protection Agency, National Labor Relations Board and, pointedly, the National Security Agency.

And within the last week or so has come news that the inappropriate scrutiny practiced by some in the IRS wasn't limited to conservative groups. Agency documents compiled by the IRS inspector general indicate that liberal groups may have been focused on before tea party organizations.

That development has triggered a whole new round of charge and counter-charge from political leaders. Some Democrats suggest the inspector general's report lets the air out of the complaints from the right about being unfairly targeted. Republicans counter that such claims are a deflection and that their concerns about undue scrutiny can't be so easily dismissed.

Source: USNews.com, "Tea Party 'Audit the IRS' Rally About a Lot More Than the Tax Man," Elizabeth Flock, June 19, 2013; WashingtonPost.com, "IRS ‘BOLOs’ raise new questions about political targeting uproar," Josh Hicks, July 4, 2013

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