Saturday, May 2, 2015

IRS Confiscates Life Savings of a N.C. Small Business Owner

Do you get the feeling that American citizens have an adversarial relationship with the federal government?  A day seldom goes by without some report of a government agency harassing and intimidating some unfortunate who happened to cross paths with a bureaucrat with an attitude.

A convenience store owner in North Carolina woke up one morning to discover the IRS confiscated his life savings.  He wasn’t accused of any crime.  They just took his money on the presumption that he deposited monies in small increments as a means to evade the IRS.  Many small business owners who deal in cash are finding themselves in the same predicament.

Mr. Lyndon McLellan’s case became known to his congressman, who presented this miscarriage of justice to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a congressional hearing.  This didn’t set well with the agency.  Here is an excerpt from the New York Times:

During a congressional hearing in February, Representative George Holding, a Republican from North Carolina, referred to Mr. McLellan’s case, saying no crime other than structuring had been alleged. “If that case exists, then it’s not following the policy,” John Koskinen, the commissioner of the I.R.S., said.

But the prosecutor on the case, Steve West, was unmoved. Notified of the hearing by Mr. McLellan’s lawyer at the time, he responded with concern that the seizure warrant in the case, filed under seal but later given to Mr. McLellan, had been handed over to a congressional committee, according to an email exchange provided to The New York Times by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm that has taken over the case.

“Your client needs to resolve this or litigate it,” Mr. West wrote. “But publicity about it doesn’t help. It just ratchets up feelings in the agency.” He concluded with a settlement offer in which the government would keep half the money.

God knows we don’t want to “ratchet up the feelings” of a federal government agency.  We all know these public servants are looking out after our best interest, so they say.


No comments: