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S This user is a Silver Level Contributor on TaxAlmanac
(over 500 edits as of 7/7/10)

Before retiring late-90s, I worked for IRS in a whole bunch of functions, mostly managerial and much training, all technical in income/employment tax enforcement. My first managerial job was actually Branch Chief in the (now arguably insane) wage-price controls of the early 70s. Those were the heady days of "good" gov't, where no one was in a position to tell us we were doing it wrong. Little jeopardy if we did, neither Fortune 500 price nor major city payroll, if truth be told. Priceless on-the-job training with rather perfunctory guidance from the Wage Board and the Price Council in days of old within still actual IRS, "re-employment rights" guaranteed and in no collective-bargaining unit of mere managers, contra the rank/file NTEU.

Among Economic Stabilization duty, as it was called, occasional assistance to prosecutors in attendant criminal matters, preparer investigation stuff even, one develops "street wisdom" readily. Though now in P/T pro bono tax practice re some 501(c)(3)s and c(4)s and a couple small corps of long friends who couldn't afford to pay me if I shamelessly billed, it leastwise saves me the utter indignity of reporting back to IRS such activity fully eligible for a Sch C-EZ. Plus no need to pay further into Social Security, now being an SS beneficiary -- the ultimate affront to many good souls, in argunedo with me across the Customer Service counter. "We just process the laundry, sir."

So, I cannot help that much here in technical matters, beyond the "average bear" in this biz, I can maybe proffer a sense as to how IRS still enforces tax laws. Things change glacially within IRS as in any gov't, despite the often odd, euphemistic titles IRS now attaches to familiar functions. T/p behavior hasn't changed at all since March, 1913, nor arguably practitioners much either. It's a tax, a rose by any other name. I also once managed the function which selects returns for examination, and that function grew to be 80%, solid, statistical science but remained substantially 80% art at the perforce, human-review level post-computer select. A fascinating exercise in how to solve a basic problem in now 130 + million 1040s alone filed verses small staff-years devoted thereto, the vast majority of t/p's trying to comply, and good tax pros on balance aiding the cause, and IRS well knows it.


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