IRS Hires $1,000-An-Hour Lawyers And It Might Have Violated Federal Law

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BY PATRICK HOWLEY

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is paying a Washington law firm $1,000 an hour in taxpayer money to perform a corporate audit, despite its claim of being severely underfunded.

The IRS’ $2.2 million contract with big-money firm Quinn Emanuel has sparked a Senate Finance Committee investigation, with the committee’s chairman saying that the IRS “appears to violate federal law.”

Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch wrote a letter this month to IRS commissioner John Koskinen stating his concerns relating to the contact, which pays Quinn Emanuel $1,000 an hour to perform an audit of Microsoft.

Hatch said that the contract appears to violate laws against the IRS sharing confidential taxpayer information with third parties.

“Despite these statutory prohibitions against the outsourcing of certain revenue functions or sharing of confidential taxpayer information, in May of last year the IRS hired a litigation law firm to assist in the income tax audit and investigation of a corporate taxpayer, including the conduct of sworn interviews,” Hatch’s letter stated.

“The IRS’s hiring of a private contractor to conduct an examination of a taxpayer raises concerns because the action: 1) appears to violate federal law and the express will of the Congress; 2) removes taxpayer protections by allowing the performance of inherently governmental functions by private contractors; and 3) calls into question the IRS’s use of its limited resources.”

But the Obama administration quickly re-wrote the rules shortly after hiring Quinn Emanuel.

“Only weeks after retaining the law firm, the Treasury Department and IRS issued a temporary regulation, without a notice and comment period, allowing third party contractors to take compulsory, sworn testimony in connection with an IRS investigation,” Hatch wrote. “The new, temporary regulation would allow private contractors — in this case, litigation attorneys billing taxpayers over $1,000 an hour, according to the contract — to question a witness under oath and ask the witness to clarify objections or assertions of privilege. It would also give these attorneys access to confidential taxpayer information while raising questions over how well that information is then protected from further disclosure. The temporary regulation was issued as a ‘clarification,’ despite the fact that it is an unprecedented expansion of the role of outside contractors in the examination process, and one that violates the IRC provisions…”

IRS commissioner John Koskinen, meanwhile, recently said that budget cuts would force the agency to cut its law enforcement capabilities.

Quinn Emanuel Washington partners William Burck and Jon Corey did not return requests for comment for this report.

OBAMA HOSTS Q&A SESSION, AMERICANS ASK HIM WHY HE SUCKS

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Twitter users point out Obama’s never-ending failures

    by KIT DANIELS | INFOWARS.COM | MAY 28, 2015

    President Barack Obama hosted a question and answer session on Twitter Thursday, and the questions he received, when pieced together, form the tapestry of Obama’s failed presidency.

    Well, Obama was a failure for the America people; when it comes to the global elite who put him into power, the president has been a tremendous success in their plan to dismantle the U.S.

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    Do you have any questions for Obama? Please leave them in the comment section below.

​IRS says records of more than 100,000 taxpayers hacked

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Hackers have exploited an online service of the Internal Revenue Service to gain access to the information of more than 100,000 American taxpayers, the IRS admits.

The IRS said on Tuesday that its “Get Transcript” service had been breached thousands of times between February and mid-May this year during a span that includes the height of the tax season.

According to the Associated Press, the hackers were able to get tax returns and other tax information hosted on the site.

“In all, about 200,000 attempts were made from questionable email domains, with more than 100,000 of those attempts successfully clearing authentication hurdles,” the agency said. “During this filing season, taxpayers successfully and safely downloaded a total of approximately 23 million transcripts.”

That trove, according to AP, may include Social Security numbers, birthdays and other sensitive information.

Details about what exactly was taken and how it was accessed are still developing, however, while the IRS says it is notifying affected taxpayers.

News of the hack comes amid increased calls from Congress and the White House for the government to pass cyber bills, including efforts from the Obama administration to implement rules that would require online services to better protect user data.

“This extraordinary interconnection” made possible by the internet “creates enormous opportunities,” President Obama said during a speech at the Federal Trade Commission in January, “but also creates enormously vulnerabilities for us as a nation and for our economy and for individuals.”

Last year, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said that a 19-year-old hacker had exploited the highly publicized “Heartbleed” bug in order to steal nearly 1,000 records belonging to taxpayers that he pilfered from the Canadian Revenue Agency. In the US, meanwhile, federal investigators have been probing how cybercriminals have been able to generate profit by filing fraudulent returns through TurboTax, a program that enables Americans to easily pay their taxes to the IRS.