The Political Action Group Democratic Coalition Against Trump has filed a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request to try and obtain tax records of Donald Trump. Although they claim that similar requests have been successful in the past it would be illegal for the IRS to honor it. IRC§ 6103 prohibits the release of tax return information to anyone even other government agencies unless the request for information meets one of the specific exceptions laid out in that code section. Wanting to know information about a political opponent is not even close to any exception listed under the IRC. Although releasing the information would be illegal, that doesn’t mean they won’t do it. IRS employees have violated this law on various occasions in recent years to try and influence elections.
The appeals court for the District of Columbia just ruled against the IRS in a suit brought by various groups that were victims of the IRS targeting scandal. In spite of multiple violations of law, the IRS has failed to fully cooperate with congressional investigators and the DOJ refuses to prosecute those responsible, but the victims have filed suit and based on this decision will still have their day in court. I have outlined the major points of the scandal here for those interested in learning more.
Unfortunately, ID theft is a common concern for many of us. The Federal Government has put together a useful website to assist in dealing with the issue here.
US Olympic athletes who win medals receive a cash payment from the US Olympic Committee which under current law is taxable to the recipient. Current tax law says that all income is taxable regardless of its source unless specifically exempted by statute. Senator Charles Schumer is pushing legislation to exempt athletes from taxation for winning a medal. He says someone whose hard work has allowed them to rise to the top of their sport and win a medal should not be punished for their success by taxing their medal earnings. Isn’t our entire tax system based on taxing people for their success? The more you earn, the higher the tax rate you pay.
Donations to qualified charities are tax deductible, but how do you know if a charity qualifies? The IRS has information about the topic and an online tool to look up and check the status of a charity here.