Everybody admires a CPA who is willing to stand up to the IRS for a client. To a point.
A New York CPA went past that point, according to the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility. If the testimony of an IRS agent before an administrative law judge is to be believed, the CPA, George Diehl, is at least guilty of a social faux pas in a conversation with IRS Revenue Officer Miamouna Diakite when she refused to put a 45-day hold on collection of a client account.
From the ALJ opinion:
Diakite stated that Diehl refused to enter into an installment agreement. Diakite testified that he became irate and loud, saying that he had obtained holds on accounts routinely, and asked to speak to Diakite’s supervisor. Diakite told him that, pursuant to IRS procedure, her supervisor would call him within 24 hours. He insisted on talking to her supervisor immediately. Diakite then, also pursuant to protocol, told him that the account was then in “collection status” whereby the IRS “will” levy against Taxpayer 1’s bank account, garnish her salary and obtain liens on her real and personal property.
Diakite testified that Diehl became very upset and said “do you know what I do to people like you. I kill them.” Diakite replied “you don’t mean that, sir” and Diehl replied “I do. I do. I’ll kill you.” Diakite then sat at her desk repeating to herself aloud that Diehl said that he would kill her and he is in New York. She became frightened and then heard a male voice, not Diehl’s, saying “what are you doing?” and the phone was then disconnected.
The opinion never does say who the “male voice” belongs to. Somebody with better manners, perhaps.
The ALJ did believe the agent:
I find that Diehl threatened Diakite. His credibility was shaken by first stating that his words to her was that you are “killing me with your stupidity and then changing that testimony to state that you are “killing me with your bullshit.”
So for all of you aspiring CPAs out there, some lessons:
• Try not to let client tax matters get to a point where you have to argue on a hold for collection.
• Don’t threaten to kill the agents. They don’t like that, and it tends to make it more difficult to get them to help your client.
•Don’t be a pottymouth. That bad language completely blew it with that nice administrative law judge.
While we’re typically not ones to speculate on the difficulty of any particular job (e.g. CEO of a Big 4 firm) the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) probably has the easiest job on Earth.
As far as we can tell, the TIGTA is responsible for criticizing the IRS on, well, pretty much everything that the Service does wrong and then the IRS agrees that they suck and promises to do better.
And if you’re going by the TIGTA website we’re more or less correct:
“TIGTA promotes the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of the internal revenue laws. It is also committed to the prevention and detection of fraud, waste, and abuse within the IRS and related entities.”
We’re assuming that Doug Shulman probably agree with our assessment but that guy doesn’t even like pizza, so who cares what he thinks?
Anyhoo, the latest Monday Morning QBing from the TIGTA is that some of the Service’s senior revenue officers are basically sitting around with nothing to do. Web CPA reports:
Senior revenue officers at the Internal Revenue Service who are supposed to handle more complicated tax cases oftentimes don’t receive any work assignments, according to a new government report…
The relative lack of work for the senior revenue officers to do occurred because there is no systemic means for IRS managers to identify the most complex cases, and the criteria for identifying complex cases are subjective and inconsistently interpreted.
So you’re a senior revenue officer with 5-6 years (?) on the job. You’ve got this gig pretty much figured out. Not only do you know the ropes, you make the fucking ropes. Your manager has suits from DC so far up their ass about collecting every dime available that they can’t see straight, so they just want you busy do anything.
You, being a reasonably lazy (and realistic) person, aren’t going to kill yourself. If you’ve got the choice of picking up a 1040 that’s hundreds of pages long versus a 1040EZ that has fewer pages that a Tony Alamo pamphlet, you’re going to pick up the 1040EZ.
Well now J. Russell George is slapping those managers around with a report deeming this unacceptable which may mean that your slacking days are over:
“I am troubled that IRS managers are not providing employees with work assignments that they are ready and able to do at a time when it is incumbent on the IRS to be as efficient and effective as possible,” said TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George in a statement.
JRG is recommending that the IRS improve it’s methods of identifying more complex cases (that the IRS naturally agreed with). We think a tax return thickness analysis is a decent place to start.