Great news! IRS commissioner says you can now use the Lois Lerner excuse if audited

posted at 4:01 pm on June 27, 2014 by Noah Rothman

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday evening, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen revealed that a number of taxpayers are confused by his agency’s conduct. Like the IRS, they would also like to claim that corrupted or lost data prevents them from complying with the tax collection agency’s requests with for several-year-old documents. Koskinen told Blitzer that what may come to be known as “The Lerner Defense” is and has been acceptable to the IRS.

During Thursday’s interview, an eager Twitter user submitted a question to Blitzer which he helpfully read on the air. “Why shouldn’t tax payers use the crashed hard drive excuse when undergoing an IRS audit?” the user asked.

“A number of them have already done that, and the question has been ‘Is there a dual standard?’” Koskinen observed.

“We, historically – if a taxpayer has lost electronic records – have said ‘If you have other indications and evidence of what went on, we’ll take that from you,’” Koskinen continued. “If you lose a document, it doesn’t mean you lose the argument.”

“We actually work with taxpayers to say, ‘We’ll look at other evidence,’ like the 24,000 emails [from Lois Lerner the IRS already submitted to congressional investigators],” the commissioner added.

He concluded by noting that the IRS “will support you” and “you won’t have any problem” if the average taxpayer undergoing an audit behaves in the precise same fashion that the IRS has over the course of the investigation into the admitted targeting of conservative groups.

You might want to hold onto those old tax filings before taking Mr. Koskinen at his word just yet. Something tells me “The Lerner Defense” won’t be as readily accepted by IRS investigators as the commissioner suggests.

Later in the interview, Koskinen appeared to backtrack on his insistence before a congressional committee that the IRS’s conduct did not merit him offering them an apology. Apparently, he determined that an apology to the American people was due:

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake,” Koskinen said. “I apologize to anybody who ever had their applications held up needlessly. Everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly no matter who they are. Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to. So it’s a serious matter.”


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Everyone, stop paying your taxes.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

New HA commenting standards

Now that I introduce myself. Let me say what I am here for.

F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!

Ok. bye now!

coolrepublica on June 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Could I get that in writing…?

d1carter on June 27, 2014 at 4:06 PM

The difference is, you go to jail if you use it…they do not.

katy on June 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

How nice of him to allow the peasants to use the same excuse of the Minor Nobility.

I seriously doubt this actually happens though, otherwise all you have to do to cheat on your taxes is make sure you destroy the hard drive.

Or just keep a destroyed hard drive around…

ConstantineXI on June 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

This is coming sooner than you think…

katy on June 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Lying, obstructionist, partisan political hack promises a ‘kindler gentler’ IRS in the wake of unprecedented abuses of power….that he continues to defend and excuse.

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Sure. This time he’s telling the truth. Sure he is.

Wino on June 27, 2014 at 4:10 PM

The difference is, you go to jail if you use it…they do not.

katy on June 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

I’m thinking that unless Lois Lerner and others go to prison over what they were doing, the People’s reaction is going to be such that there won’t be ENOUGH jails to hold tax protestors…

ConstantineXI on June 27, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Dude looks like a Reptile.

/Sing to the tune – Dude Looks Like a Lady

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Abolish Public Sector Unions.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Koskinen is the perfect poster child for our betters and overseers: smug, smirking, sarcastic, and condescending.

Drained Brain on June 27, 2014 at 4:12 PM

coolrepublica on June 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Coolrepublica is Lois Lerner. Who else would stop by to troll us like that?

I wonder how the Dalmation puppy fur coat is coming along?

trigon on June 27, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Sure you can use that excuse…

… It will only cost you all the money in your bank account, a lien on your house, and your wages garnished before you can blink.

The ruling class sure does enjoy the double standard that keeps the rest of us in order…

Seven Percent Solution on June 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

*coughbullshitcough*

Midas on June 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

@Key West Reader

I think he is James Carville’s brother

Snowblind on June 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

But perhaps, yes, you can use it.

They won’t f*cking accept it, but you can use it.

Midas on June 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

OT, but what a palate cleanser this is

Here in Flori-duh – pretty cool story with pics.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Love how he keeps using the 24,000 useless emails. It’d be like telling the IRS, I lost all the receipts related to my business writeoffs, but I have thousands of receipts unrelated. Does that count?

kevinkristy on June 27, 2014 at 4:17 PM

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake,” Koskinen said.

And they were crimes. So maybe Koskinen can tell us who committed them or when he’ll determine who did?

And there were other crimes other than just the improper criteria – confidential tax information was leaked purposely to lefty outfits.

Can Koskinen tell us who committed these crimes? Or when he’s going to find out who did?

gwelf on June 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

NOW there’s a face you can certainly trust!

/Screen Cap Gigglesnort

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake,” Koskinen said.

A mistake is when the IRS gives you the wrong refund amount or send it to the wrong address. The improper criteria was no mistake. It was a deliberate politically motivated act.

aunursa on June 27, 2014 at 4:20 PM

That guy really gives me the creeps. An appropriately evil visage for this IRS figurehead.

otlset on June 27, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I’m thinking that unless Lois Lerner and others go to prison over what they were doing, the People’s reaction is going to be such that there won’t be ENOUGH jails to hold tax protestors…

ConstantineXI on June 27, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Yes, and that ties nicely into the border mess. All the “white” people in jails and the low wage illegal immigrant population will step up to carry the burden of “revenue” coming in.

See how they work it all out perfectly!

katy on June 27, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Stick your apology where the sun does not shine.

birdwatcher on June 27, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Mistakes were made, but an investigation is underway to see to it that this incident never happens again.

Breaking out the one-size-fits-all Democrat all-purpose excuse for criminal behavior of any kind.

#NeverGetsOld

Dolce Far Niente on June 27, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Time to measure this shred of humanity for a nice tar and feather suit…

abnormal_1 on June 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Heh. cr is an idiot.

On the topic at hand…good luck with that.

22044 on June 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

HEY ! . . . . . IRS Commissioner John Koskinen . . . . .
We gotta message for ya’ :
.
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F%#ck You!!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!
F@#ck you!!!

Ok. bye now!

coolrepublica on June 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM

listens2glenn on June 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Stick your apology where the sun does not shine.

birdwatcher on June 27, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Where do you think he pulled it from?

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 4:30 PM

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake criminal offense,” Koskinen said.

There, FIFY.

GAlpha10 on June 27, 2014 at 4:31 PM

The rest of the Koskinen quote – “Sure you can use that excuse. We won’t accept it, and since you’re guilty until you can convince us you’re innocent, you’re guilty for using it.”

Steve Eggleston on June 27, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Why is the IRS Commissioner on TV?

Doesn’t he have a lot of work to do?

faraway on June 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

That guy picks the most inappropriate times to smirk although I guess it could be a nervous tic. The problem is though that the agency did target conservatives which makes it political and saying sorry doesn’t address the issue. People need to be punished.

Southernblogger on June 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

gwelf on June 27, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Koskinen promises the first draft will be ready no earlier than 1/21/2017….

Athos on June 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

I think he is James Carville’s brother

Snowblind on June 27, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I think Carville and Orrin Hatch had a love child.

Flange on June 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Old news folks. This is called the Cohan Rule, which was named after the famous playwright George M. Cohan. He was not too good at keeping good tax records.

Cohan rule

A common law rule whereby taxpayers, when unable to produce records of actual expenditures, may rely on reasonable estimates provided there is some factual basis for it. “Absolute certainty in such matters is usually impossible and is not necessary; the Board should make as close an approximation as it can, bearing heavily if it chooses upon the taxpayer whose inexactitude is of his own making.” See Cohan v. Commissioner, 39 F. 2d 540 (2d Cir. 1930).

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/cohan_rule

SC.Charlie on June 27, 2014 at 4:39 PM

OT, but what a palate cleanser this is

Here in Flori-duh – pretty cool story with pics.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

.
O T :

Wow, 400 lbs . . . . . . . . . . that’s a lot of black bear.

Yeah, they can get bigger … but any eastern hunter would be happy with a bear that size. Most of the bears killed by hunters in PA are well under 200 lbs. A few show up at the requisite ‘bear check station’ under 100 lbs.

Thanks, KWR !

listens2glenn on June 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

OT, but what a palate cleanser this is

Here in Flori-duh – pretty cool story with pics.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Rescue bears. Not RINOs.

22044 on June 27, 2014 at 4:43 PM

The Federal Reserve and the IRS are out and out criminal organizations.

Makes me sick that we have to pretend that they’re not. But, we don’t, so in the end we’ll get what we (collectively) deserve.

Many here like to make fun of the French. Well, at least the French back in 1789 had way more balls than any of us in the good ol’ U.S. of A do nowadays despite all of our bull**** and bluster. They had enough and did something about it. Yeah, we’re real tough guys. Brought to our knees by suits that will get an equally ball-less sheriff to gun you down if necessary because you didn’t pay your tribute.

We’ve become pathetic. We’ve abrogated any right to feel sorry for ourselves, just like the poor who in spite of billions in handouts from the gov’t are still poor. What’s the difference? What’s our excuse?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly no matter who they are.

What a relief! I guess it’s all fixed now.

J.B. Say on June 27, 2014 at 4:46 PM

‘We’ll look at other evidence,’ like the 24,000 emails [from Lois Lerner the IRS already submitted to congressional investigators],” the commissioner added.

This is exactly what he wants. The evidence of wrong-doing destroyed, the investigators should look at irrelevant data to determine guilt. I prefer the investigators subpoena the corresponding metadata from the NSA and then access those records on the other end at the White House, Valerie Jarret’s Blackberry, Treasury and DOJ.

ROCnPhilly on June 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM

I think Carville and Orrin Hatch had a love child.

Flange on June 27, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Okay.. Gack.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

We’ve become pathetic. We’ve abrogated any right to feel sorry for ourselves, just like the poor who in spite of billions in handouts from the gov’t are still poor. What’s the difference? What’s our excuse?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

We’re racists.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 5:02 PM

I would like for Trey Gowdy to ask him in the next hearing for his emails, both prior to and after accepting the job as IRS commissioner. Just curious if he has heard from the WH or it’s outside campaign arm. Seems he sure uses the same talking points they use.

Tater Salad on June 27, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

The reason is that our wealthy society has removed us from reality and we cannot stomach the strife and pain that would accompany the actions that should now be taken.

This is the way the nation ends
This is the way the nation ends
This is the way the nation ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

ROCnPhilly on June 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM

coolrepublica on June 26, 2014 at 5:02 PM

listens2glenn on June 27, 2014 at 4:28 PM

I use Sandra Fluke’s name in place of the word. Given what she claims to do… so much that buying her own rubbers bankrupts her I think it’s appropriate…

ConstantineXI on June 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

This is the way the nation ends
This is the way the nation ends
This is the way the nation ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

ROCnPhilly on June 27, 2014 at 5:09 PM

The Soviet Union’s sudden collapse in 1991 happened the same way. One day it was there, next day it wasn’t…

I think it may well happen similarly here. One day we have a 50 state union, next day we have 50 states… Plus an extra 7 that only exist in Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s pea brain.

ConstantineXI on June 27, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Okay.. Gack.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Sorry. It was a low blow.

Flange on June 27, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly no matter who they are. Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to.

This is absolute crap and everybody knows it. The IRS should be disbanded whatever it takes.

I am for a Constitutional Convention in order to propose Amendments. One should repeal the amendment allowing for the taxation of income. Another should impose term limits on senators and congressmen. Yet another should disband the EPA. And, finally, the last one should remove the Federal Government from Health Care entirely.

If that doesn’t work, it is time to secede.

Theophile on June 27, 2014 at 5:16 PM

EHRMEGHERD

Seriously. Obama said this. After running this country for almost 6 years, destroying our economy, destroying our morality, destroying our dignity, destroying our integrity. Destroying our military, destroying our standing in the world.

“Join Me”.

/If yo momma was alive I’d slap her for having you in the first place BooRock. Ya suck.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Sorry. It was a low blow.

Flange on June 27, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Actually it was hilarious and you made pictures in my mind LOL!

It’s all good

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Lanny Davis, Long-Time Clinton Adviser: It’s Waaaaay Past Time For An Independent Counsel/Special Prosecutor To Investigate The Internal Revenge Service

So, add Lanny Davis to Ron Fournier, Prof Jonathan Turley, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Kirsten Powers, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Times, The Arizona Republic, The Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Washington Examiner, Congressman John Barrow (D-GA), Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-CT), Congressman Richard Tisei (D-MA), Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Congressman Ron Barber (D-AZ), Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA), Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA), Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Congressman Joe Garcia (D-FL), Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Congressman Dan Maffei (D-NY), Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT), Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC), Congressman Patrick E. Murphy (D-FL), Congressman Bill Owens (D-NY), Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA), Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV), Congressman Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL), Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN), (See: Final Vote Results For Roll Call 204), among a growing list of others.

Resist We Much on June 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Resist We Much on June 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Wag the dog, baby.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I want to see that published in the Federal Register – then, and only then, might I believe it.

Another Drew on June 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

IRS Chief Koskinen Is Major Democratic Donor

What a surprise, right?

Via Newsmax:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, appointed by President Barack Obama to steer the agency through the numerous investigations into the IRS targeting scandal, has donated close to $100,000 to Democrats and the party’s organizations for more than four decades.

Koskinen donations include a total of $7,300 to the campaigns to elect Obama to the White House, $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008, $3,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and $2,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, according to official records of political contributions, with 1979 being the earliest date on record.

Keep reading…

Resist We Much on June 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

I don’t know, I’ve got this-this funny feeling. Call it an intuition if you like, but as soon as I read this an overwhelmingly powerful conviction flooded the very depths of my being that the IRS Commissioner was, so to speak, lying.

This feeling was reinforced by the team of IRS Auditors seated near my dinner table who, when shown this article, erupted into peals of laughter.

spiritof61 on June 27, 2014 at 5:35 PM

… It will only cost you all the money in your bank account, a lien on your house, and your wages garnished before you can blink.

The ruling class sure does enjoy the double standard that keeps the rest of us in order…

Seven Percent Solution on June 27, 2014 at 4:14 PM

You sure are naïve. Did you know illegal aliens and millions of others in the US have somehow managed to live outside all of that scrutiny for decades?

Ever hear of trusts? False identity? Cash? Shells?

Besides, it will most likely be the people who have little to nothing to lose who will do a Joe Stack with greater effect.

The rate that the enemy is conquering and destroying this country, the faster and more numerous that pitch-fork demographic grows.

Reuben Hick on June 27, 2014 at 5:42 PM

We’ve become pathetic. We’ve abrogated any right to feel sorry for ourselves, just like the poor who in spite of billions in handouts from the gov’t are still poor. What’s the difference? What’s our excuse?

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 27, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Rule One about Fight Club.

Some folks are amassing strength and training but for very OBVIOUS reasons won’t go public or run open registration to join.
(Just thinking about a dystopian book plot here)

Be patient.

Reuben Hick on June 27, 2014 at 5:53 PM

As a great American penologist once said:

Go ahead, make my day.

formwiz on June 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM

OT, but what a palate cleanser this is

Here in Flori-duh – pretty cool story with pics.

Key West Reader on June 27, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Thank KWR for posting that. That was really cool, how brave of that man. Yes bears get too close because we’ve too close to their territory, so glad he was rescued and returned to his area.

Bakokitty on June 27, 2014 at 6:14 PM

uh….yeah.
someone dare try this out?

dmacleo on June 27, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly no matter who they are. Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to. So it’s a serious matter.”

Spit!

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2014 at 6:37 PM

What habitual liars we have in the IRS, the White House, the DOJ, the EPA. And the list goes on.

leader4hru on June 27, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Sure the IRS will take other evidence, but it sure as hell will also sue you for spoliation should you “happen” to lose documents that you should have preserved, especially when they pertain to a critical audit issue. Ask the taxpayer in this case — Con Edison v. United States, 90 Fed. Cl. 228 — whether the IRS was all chummy when the taxpayer explained there was an innocent loss of email in migrating from one server to another.

The Commentator on June 27, 2014 at 6:53 PM

I think he knows he in trouble from his testimony and hes trying to soft peddle what he said. I dare any individual or small business to go into an IRS audit without full documentation. You would be eaten alive and ruined. Last i knew its congress that writes the tax laws and funds these nazis so where is congress on this and why dont they demand accountability?

jaywemm on June 27, 2014 at 8:02 PM

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake,” Koskinen said. “I apologize to anybody who ever had their applications held up needlessly. Everybody needs to be confident that the IRS is going to treat them fairly no matter who they are. Republicans, Democrats, whatever organization they belong to. So it’s a serious matter.”

Except this went beyond a delayed application. Individuals who were making applications found themselves the subjects of expensive and time consuming audits not only by the IRS, but by other members of the Alphabet Soup agencies. These folks had their business reputations damaged and were financially harmed by being subjected to unearned scrutiny.

And in light of the Grassley memo, it seems that we should be searching for emails relevant to why Ben Carson and many other prominent conservatives – who were not running for office – suddenly found themselves the target of an audit.

2nd Ammendment Mother on June 28, 2014 at 12:09 AM

, historically – if a taxpayer has lost electronic records – have said ‘If you have other indications and evidence of what went on, we’ll take that from you

“if” the word refuge of scoundrels and deceivers…as well as used car salesmen.

Don L on June 28, 2014 at 7:28 AM

“The improper criteria used to highlight organizations for investigation just by their name was a mistake,”

“Because we obviously missed a couple, going solely by their names……..”

GWB on June 28, 2014 at 9:31 AM