In an example of gross government overreach, the IRS took $17.1 million from innocent individuals and business owners because of the way in which they chose to do their banking, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration reports.
Under the Bank Secrecy Act, financial institutions are required to report transactions in excess of $10,000. Furthermore, under the law, “no person shall, for the purpose of evading the reporting requirements, cause or attempt to cause a U.S. financial institution to fail to file a report required or structure.”
In other words, anyone doing their banking in such a manner to avoid being noticed by the IRS is violating the act, too. Property used while violating the act, and the anti-structuring provisions, can be seized, making millions of dollars vulnerable to the IRS.
The intent of the law was to put major criminal financial transactions on the radar. However, when the IRS was audited for its use of seizures by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the audit found that better than 90 percent of people from whom property was taken were actually innocent.
According to a Treasure Department news release: “The Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation (CI) division enforced the Bank Secrecy Act’s anti-structuring provisions primarily against individuals and businesses whose income was legally obtained, according to a report publicly released… by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The report also concludes that the rights of some individuals and businesses were compromised in these investigations.”
The IRS doing something shady and wrong? Madness!
When the TIGTA auditors looked at 278 sample cases from the years 2012 through 2014, guess what they found?
“TIGTA determined that 91 percent of the 278 investigations in its sample where source of funds could be determined were of businesses and individuals whose funds were obtained legally,” the report stated.
So, why the gross oversight? The IRS engaged in a “quick hits” program, wherein “property was more quickly seized and more quickly resolved through negotiation, rather than pursuing cases with other criminal activity (such as drug trafficking and money laundering), which are more time-consuming.”
In other words, they threw thoroughness out the window in favor of expediency, and they messed up big — hurting a lot of innocent people in the process.
(via: Conservative Tribune)