Is Trump doing a good job?

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vnatale
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by vnatale » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:11 pm

Mark Leavy wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:47 pm
vnatale wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:20 pm

There HAS to be extreme and harsh internal penalties for leaking from the IRS because I cannot remember it ever happening.

Vinny
Vinny, you're a gentle soul and I like you.

But you are also smart. And an accountant. If you felt it was vitally important to the security of the country to leak some numbers to the press, do you think you could do it without getting caught?
Yes, I could do if not working for the IRS. But if I were working for the IRS and there was a list of penalties such as "and, every one of your tax returns that have ever been filed and every one you subsequently file will be audited" I might not take the chance.

But there is another factor here - privacy and trust. I did work for an accounting firm for 9 years. I had access to every single tax return the firm filed. I would have loved to have seen my friend's tax return, which was prepared by that firm. However, since I was not involved in preparing his tax tax, I never looked at it because doing so would have been a gross breach of privacy and trust. I don't want that happening to me therefore by the golden rule I'm not doing to do it to others.

Another case, was when I was remotely backing up all my financial advisor's client files on to my hard drive. This was well over 20 years ago. Again, I knew some of his clients and would have loved to have looked at their portfolios. But for the same reasons described above, while I still have all those files, I have never opened one of them.

But back to the IRS. I'm almost certain that they have fairly antiquated computer systems. But, even so, I have to believe that they have some record of each person who has ever touched a certain tax return. Therefore, IF a tax return was ever leaked they are going to focus on each person who ever touched that return and put on heavy pressure. And, I mean HEAVY pressure.

When I was 18 years old I had a summer job with the US post office, delivering mail. One day I left my mailbox key in the mailbox. I came back and told my boss what I had done. Luckily a subsequent mailman found it. My boss told me that that key opened every mailbox in Cranston and Providence (Rhode Island) -- a population of about 250,000 -- and if that key had not been found, they'd have to change the keys on all the boxes in boxes for each city overnight. He told me that the postal inspectors would be on me for the rest of my life. As I said, luckily another mailman found it. How I left it there is a story for another time.

We like to think the government is inept. In certain cases you do NOT want to cross the government.

I just don't know of a tax return ever being leaked from the IRS. Do you?

Finally, your exact question was: "to leak some numbers to the press".

What credibility would you give to some numbers appearing in an article that stated it came from an unnamed source within the IRS? I'd suspect none.

Wouldn't we at least need to see the first page of the 1040 both signed by the taxpayer and the tax preparer?

And, even then, how do we know that it genuine and the real thing and not something someone created in a tax program?

Vinny
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by flyingpylon » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:35 am

Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney’s taxes in the 2012 election. All it takes is an accusation and the media takes it from there. Credibility not required. The damage can’t be undone in a timely manner if at all.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/harr ... neys-taxes
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by Mountaineer » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:28 am

glennds wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:42 pm
technovelist wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:49 pm
glennds wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:00 pm
stuper1 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:34 pm
If you haven't done anything wrong, you don't have anything to hide from anybody.
Including tax returns
How about all your medical records and all your private correspondence with everyone you've ever known?
Want to publish them here?
Does it make a difference that I'm not running for public office, not seeking a position where my decisions would have any impact on you or anyone else participating in this discussion forum?
Probably not to some rabid glennds stalker who alleges he saw you pee on the flagpole when you were in kindergarten. ;D ;D
Its OK if some people don’t like you, not everyone has good taste.
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by Mark Leavy » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:44 am

vnatale wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:11 pm
...

We like to think the government is inept. In certain cases you do NOT want to cross the government.

I just don't know of a tax return ever being leaked from the IRS. Do you?

Finally, your exact question was: "to leak some numbers to the press".

What credibility would you give to some numbers appearing in an article that stated it came from an unnamed source within the IRS? I'd suspect none.

Wouldn't we at least need to see the first page of the 1040 both signed by the taxpayer and the tax preparer?

And, even then, how do we know that it genuine and the real thing and not something someone created in a tax program?

Vinny
Great response, Vinny, thanks.
I absolutely believe that it isn't something you would do. Both from a sense of ethics and an understanding that it is a bad idea all the way around. I just don't have much faith that all of the IRS employees have that same ethos and common sense.

Here's hoping you are right.
Mark
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by Xan » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:46 am

Mark Leavy wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:44 am
Great response, Vinny, thanks.
I absolutely believe that it isn't something you would do. Both from a sense of ethics and an understanding that it is a bad idea all the way around. I just don't have much faith that all of the IRS employees have that same ethos and common sense.

Here's hoping you are right.
Mark
Vinny's right that I've never heard of anybody's tax information ever being leaked by the IRS. Which is really very impressive.
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by l82start » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 am

given the way the IRS handled tax status applications from the tea party a little while ago, it seems likely that many do not have the ethical standards Vinny (and most of us) would expect and hope they have..
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by Xan » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:51 am

l82start wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:50 am
given the way the IRS handled tax status applications from the tea party a little while ago, it seems likely that many do not have the ethical standards Vinny (and most of us) would expect and hope they have..
Yes, that was very messy and put a huge black mark on the entire organization, no question.

But on this specific issue, the leaking of citizens' personal information from the IRS, it seems they have a stellar track record.
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by l82start » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:12 am

agreed but given past behavior, not leaking tax returns seems more like a line they haven't crossed than a line they "would never cross". i hope its a hard line, and that the system makes it an incredibly tough one to break,
but ....internal vigilance... price of liberty...

much like the way scorpions kill there Uber driver frogs at river crossings, we know the nature of unnamed bureaucrats..
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”

Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by Xan » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 am

I'm not saying you're wrong.

But, wow, what a big juicy target that Trump tax return is. Would the NYT pay a leaker for it? I don't actually know. I'm guessing it's a federal crime to leak it, so probably they wouldn't pay.

Regardless, if that one hasn't leaked, it seems like the system is working pretty well.
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by vnatale » Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:54 am

Xan wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 am
I'm not saying you're wrong.

But, wow, what a big juicy target that Trump tax return is. Would the NYT pay a leaker for it? I don't actually know. I'm guessing it's a federal crime to leak it, so probably they wouldn't pay.

Regardless, if that one hasn't leaked, it seems like the system is working pretty well.
Contrast that to just about every other branch of government where there seems to be leakers galore.

I do think it may have something to do with the IRS discretion to audit whoever it pleases and the threat to do so. Even if you have nothing to hide, the IRS can allege they found something and you do not want to then be in audit Hell trying to defend yourself. It's just you against the entire IRS.

Vinny
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by pugchief » Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:42 am

Xan wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 am
I'm not saying you're wrong.

But, wow, what a big juicy target that Trump tax return is. Would the NYT pay a leaker for it? I don't actually know. I'm guessing it's a federal crime to leak it, so probably they wouldn't pay.

Regardless, if that one hasn't leaked, it seems like the system is working pretty well.
It wouldn't have to necessarily be someone at the IRS. I have had to send the first page of my tax return to prove my income to various entities in the past. Theoretically, anyone at one of those firms could leak it.
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Re: Is Trump doing a good job?

Post by Xan » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:54 am

pugchief wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:42 am
Xan wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:15 am
I'm not saying you're wrong.

But, wow, what a big juicy target that Trump tax return is. Would the NYT pay a leaker for it? I don't actually know. I'm guessing it's a federal crime to leak it, so probably they wouldn't pay.

Regardless, if that one hasn't leaked, it seems like the system is working pretty well.
It wouldn't have to necessarily be someone at the IRS. I have had to send the first page of my tax return to prove my income to various entities in the past. Theoretically, anyone at one of those firms could leak it.
Yes, that's a good point. Any time you take out a mortgage, for instance, they want years of tax returns. Same for other types of loan, I would imagine. And yet I've never heard of a tax return being leaked.
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