Audits Gone Wrong

Bad Apples in the IRSIRS Revenue Agent at Audit

I’ve defended my share of audits for clients, and while they can get contentious, the IRS Agents conducting the audits are, for the most part, honest, decent, dedicated people. But there are exceptions.  

Perhaps you followed the trials and tribulations of Lois Lerner. She became director of the Internal Revenue Service's Exempt Organizations Unit in 2005, and subsequently became the central figure in the 2013 IRS targeting controversy – all while she received $129,000 in bonuses. But quite frankly, whatever Lerner allegedly did, it pales in comparison to some of her colleagues within the IRS...

Audits Gone Wrong

For example, an IRS Agent in Seattle named Paul Hurley is alleged to have extorted cash from a medical marijuana dispensary in return for special audit treatment. Hurley, 42, attempted to squeeze taxpayers for tens of thousands of dollars.

And another IRS Agent, Samuel Garza of Tennessee, allegedly sexually assaulted a woman while performing an audit of her business. Garza has been charged with sexual battery and has been terminated from the IRS.

The X Rated Audit

Vincent Burroughs of Eugene Oregon claims an IRS agent seduced him, and then didn’t help with his audit. Burroughs sued the United States and the IRS agent conducting the audit, Dora Abrahamson, for “sexual coercion and the violation of Privacy Act.” Burroughs alleged that while Abrahamson was auditing him, she sexually coerced him, flirted with him by phone and text, wore provocative clothing, and even sent the taxpayer a selfie in her underwear! In a sworn deposition – and I’m not kidding you – Burroughs claims he was threatened with “stiff penalties” if he did not comply. 

The Oregon trial court dismissed the lawsuit, concluding that whatever happened between the taxpayer and the IRS Agent, it occurred after hours in the taxpayer’s home. So the IRS has no liability because the agent was not acting in her official capacity, ruled the court. After Burroughs began his intimate relationship with IRS Agent Abrahamson, she then withdrew from handling his case, and another IRS Agent was assigned. At this point, the audit went even more sideways. Mr. Burroughs ended up owing the IRS $69,000. The unsuccessful lawsuit alleged that the government is liable for damages because IRS officials provided “inadequate supervision.” You can't make this stuff up!

The IRS is Made Up of Real Living Souls

The lesson to be learned here is that IRS employees are human. They are subject to the same human impulses, weaknesses, and emotions as the rest of us. Most of the folks at the IRS have integrity. They are consumate professionals. But not all of them.

If you have any kind of IRS problem, feel free to call me, day or night, at 800 659 0525

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