September 19, 2021

IRS Agents Pack Heat, Rarely Discharge

IRS agents have guns. By that I don't mean huge biceps.1 I mean the things Ted Nugent uses to shoot elk and open beers and unclog toilets.

In 2008, when I was about to graduate with my B.S. in accounting, I attended the job fair at Utah Valley State College. No CPA firms were there because we didn't have a graduate program and nobody was even close to their 150 hours.

But the IRS was there.

The guy at their booth looked like the kid who wrote the letter to the principal explaining his seven well-researched reasons why rope climbing in gym class was was counterproductive.

I asked him what he liked best about working for the IRS. He said he liked finding people who owned a new Cadillac, a new Lexus and a ski boat, but had no taxable income. Basically he liked being nosy to prove that he's smarter than people who don't work for the IRS.

What he should have said is, "They give me a gun, and sometimes I get to shoot people who are bad at math." Then the accounting undergrads would be lining up.

And you know, when you give a mathlete a gun, he's going to think up some pretty badass catch phrases to say when he pops a cap in a tax evader's ass. Things like, "Itemize that, bitch!" and "How's that estate plan coming, bitch?!" and "Looks like somebody's heirs just received a step up in basis on their parents' capital assets that have appreciated over time, bitch!"

TIGTA recently said

The Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division needs to make sure its special agents are taking and passing required firearms training. … Special agents must pass tests, including firing a handgun, entering a building with a firearm, and firing a weapon while wearing a bulletproof vest.

However, anyone who's watched Tommy Boy knows the proper way to enter a building with a firearm is by saying, "Everybody, this’ll only take a second."

TIGTA also found that firearm discharge incidents were not always properly reported.

That’s becoming a bigger and bigger problem because firearm discharge incidents increase proportionally to on-duty gun twirling, and on-duty gun twirling increases when IRS agents choose "I'm your huckleberry" as their post-tax-evader-ass-cap-popping catch phrase.

I contacted my friend Kem Washington. She’s a CPA, a professor at Dillard University, and former gunslinger for the IRS. She said:

As a criminal investigator, I was required to carry a gun. I believe it was a Glock 45. … I learned how to shoot various firearms.

I didn’t ask for clarification because I’d like to assume “various firearms” includes a sawed-off shotgun, a 50-caliber rifle mounted to the roof of a car2, and one uzi in each hand.

I asked if she had ever popped a cap in a tax evader’s ass.

No, I never popped anyone! But really, not many CIs [criminal investigation agents] discharge their weapons (or ever will). Keep in mind, when IRS agents are required to do a search warrant or other activity, they are accompanied by other law enforcement agents, which usually enter prior to CI agents.

Sounds like, if you get hired by the IRS, not only does your boss require that you carry a Glock, you get to command a battalion of armed mercenaries.

So the next time you advise a client to take an aggressive tax position, you’ve got to ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, punk?3


1 No one thought I meant huge biceps.

2 Probably a Kia.

3 A movie reference from 1971 is an ineffective way to end a post whose target audience is primarily millennials.

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