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The Collective
Friday, May 25, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the AP: Report: IRS poor at finding terrorists

IRS investigators look at paper documents and use a limited terrorist watch list to pinpoint possible ties between charitable and other nonprofit groups and terrorists, said the office of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which does independent oversight of the tax agency.

As a result, it said, “There is a risk that these charities will not be reported to the federal government authorities fighting terrorism.”

And how’s this for a methodology?

[Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max] Baucus, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, noted that IRS personnel told the Treasury Inspector General that they mainly look for “Middle Eastern-sounding names” when considering which tax filings to flag for further review.

Sheer genius. I feel safer already.

Seriously, while I understand and support the general policy goal of stopping financial flows to terrorist organizations, there is a legitimate question here as to whether such activities are really in the purview of the IRS. Surely their job is the collecting of taxes owed, not in the policing of international terrorist networks.

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: US Politics, War on Terror | |

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