The Internal Revenue Service has a tarnished reputation in America, and not all of it is undeserved. While it is absolutely in the public’s best interest to collect taxes to fund infrastructure and programs that benefit everyone, the IRS has been known to abuse its power and carry out its duties in a less-than-competent manner. This has led to innocent taxpayers being subjected to unfair collection practices or even an IRS criminal investigation. Here are a few examples of IRS controversies.

Before 1998, and in stark contrast to the “innocent until proven guilty” credo of the American legal system, the burden of proof fell upon taxpayers who had been accused of flouting the rules. That changed slightly with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights III in 1998, but only for limited situations. The IRS still has the power to seize property and enact liens without a court decision. Other controversy has centered on the partisan politics of recent years. An investigation was launched in 2013 to determine if the IRS, under the Obama administration, had disproportionately scrutinized Republican groups filing for tax-exempt status. It was later found that while the IRS used erroneous practices, they were not biased against a particular political group. Further controversy came in 2015 when the IRS computer system was hacked, exposing sensitive information pertaining to over 100,000 taxpayers.

The IRS is an enormous entity with far-reaching powers. Errors, incompetence, and mismanagement can sometimes cause that power to be directed at individuals and businesses who have done nothing wrong. If you’ve become the subject of an IRS criminal investigation, you owe it to yourself to secure the help of a legal tax specialist like attorney Jeffrey Anton Collins. Serving Downers Grove, IL, as well as the Greater Chicago area and the rest of the country, he has the knowledge and the experience to help you obtain a successful outcome in U.S. Tax Court.