Monday, March 15, 2010

IRS Investigates Flurry of Threats Against its Workers and Facilities

According to the Washington Post, the number of threats being made against Internal Revenue Service employees has been rapidly climbing since the incident last month when a plane flew into an IRS office. The pilot and one IRS employee died in the crash, and since then the IRS has investigated more then 70 reported instances of a threats being made by taxpayers to IRS workers.

Workers have received a mix of inappropriate verbal comments -- including jokes or statements of support for pilot A. Joseph Stack -- and more serious threats, claimed National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen M. Kelley.

Kelley said she learned of the threats from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, which tracks threats against IRS workers. Neither TIGTA nor the IRS would confirm the number of threats or share details of the probe.

"TIGTA is actively and aggressively investigating all threats made against IRS employees, infrastructure and property," said J. Russell George, the treasury inspector general for tax administration. His office and the IRS have instructed workers to report threats immediately. "It would be a little naive to think that we don't get some threats over the course of doing business," said IRS Communications Director Terry Lemons.

Attacks and threats against IRS workers and facilities are nothing new and are not confined to the annual spring tax filing season, Lemons said. People have rammed cars into offices as well as set them on fire. And some people have taken out hits on agency employees, he said.

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