The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service has delayed the collection of back taxes from Hurricane Katrina victims until after the election in order to avoid political fallout. Four former IRS commissioners called the move “improper and indefensible.”
New York Times:
Mr. Everson issued the order to delay enforcement in an Oct. 10 conference call with some of the career civil servants working on tax enforcement in the areas that were devastated by the 2005 hurricane.
“We just spoke with commissioner on the enforcement issue in the gulf,” wrote Beth Tucker, the I.R.S. executive in charge of dealing with Hurricane Katrina victims, in an e-mail message to her team obtained by The New York Times. “He prefers that we do not resume any enforcement actions until after Dec. 31 due to the upcoming elections, holiday season, etc.”
Former Commissioner Jerome Kurtz, who served under President Jimmy Carter, responded, “Never, never, never,” when asked if he would have considered delaying broad-based enforcement actions like sending notices because of any election, national or local. “Oh my God, that is unthinkable,” Mr. Kurtz said.