Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

10:51am

Sat March 30, 2013
It's All Politics

IRS To 'Social Welfare' Groups: Show Me The Political Ad Money

Originally published on Sat March 30, 2013 1:07 pm

Sen. Carl Levin has been a vocal advocate for transparency in political ad spending.
Alex Wong Getty Images

There are still unanswered questions about the politically active 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups. The anonymously funded entities' multimillion-dollar ad budgets helped to clog the airwaves last year.

How much did they really spend to intervene in the 2012 campaign? What kinds of sources supplied their money? What ties do they maintain with other nonprofit organizations or for-profit companies?

The IRS is now trying to address some of the unknowns by asking organizations to fill out a questionnaire about their finances.

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2:45pm

Tue March 26, 2013
The Two-Way

William Shatner Says He's 'Appalled' At IRS 'Star Trek' Parody Video

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:54 pm

This video image from an Internal Revenue Service video shows an IRS employee portraying Mr. Spock.
Uncredited AP

William Shatner has made up his mind about the Star Trek parody video produced by the Internal Revenue Service. He tweeted:

"So I watched that IRS video. I am appalled at the utter waste of US tax dollars."

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1:23pm

Thu March 14, 2013

2:39pm

Mon February 18, 2013
U.S.

What Happens When Someone Else Gets Your Tax Refund

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Todd Macy, a banker from Marin County, Calif., was the victim of identity theft. Nearly a year after filing his return, he's still waiting for his federal tax refund.
Courtesy of Todd Macy

If you usually wait until April to file your taxes, you might want to hurry up — before identity thieves beat you to it. Using stolen names and Social Security numbers, these criminals file fake tax returns with false wage and withholding information. This generates big — and fraudulent — refunds, before the real taxpayer gets around to filing.

The Internal Revenue Service says it's busy working to combat what prosecutors call a fraud epidemic.

Most taxpayers don't have any idea something is wrong until they hit the send button on their taxes and get an error message.

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1:18am

Wed November 21, 2012
Planet Money

How The Government Set Up A Fake Bank To Launder Drug Money

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 11:18 am

Skip Latson marks the fake opening of RHM Trust Bank.
Bill Bruton

In the early 1990s, Colombian drug cartels had a problem: They had more money than they knew what to do with.

"They were having a very difficult time with just the logistics of laundering millions and millions and millions of dollars every week," says Skip Latson, who worked for the DEA at the time.

So Latson and Bill Bruton, who was a special agent with the IRS, hatched a plan: They'd create a fake, offshore bank catering to the needs of the drug cartel.

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