IamA 28-year veteran of the Internal Revenue Service – having left IRS, I am free now to reveal how the agency is failing in its mission to serve the American people and have just written a 67-page open letter to Congress on that subject. AMAA!
EDIT 3: As promised, here is a link to the free open letter
EDIT 2: OP's helper here 3 days later - I forwarded some additional high-voted questions to Mike, which he then answered by email and which I just added to the AMA. These answers include a detailed response to a bullet-pointed critique, reprising themes addressed in part in this earlier response made during the active IAMA period. Here are his three suggestions for immediate changes that could be made to improve the IRS. He also answered a number of questions in r/Economics where this AMA was cross-posted. I do hope latecomers to this AMA realize that Mike does not profit from this AMA or book - if anything, quite the opposite. I will be back one more time to update this AMA with links to the full free digital version of the open letter. Thanks again!
EDIT 1: Thanks for all of your questions - feel free to keep asking and voting, but I have to depart for today. I am leaving for a trip but will try to get back on here to answer some additional questions a few days from now. If you want a free digital copy of the full open letter, drop back by this coming week for the link! I had a great time today and was very impressed by the diversity and high caliber of the questions and do hope my answers were informative. If you want to see change: remember to write your congress(wo)men and get out the vote!
Michael Gregory here! IRS Employees are forbidden from lobbying Congress, leaving former agents and insiders like myself to raise the alarm about what is happening to and within the agency. With that in mind, I have written an open, public and free letter (summary here and extended excerpt here) to our leaders titled The Wheels are Falling Off the Wagon at the IRS in hopes of drawing much-needed attention to an ongoing crisis impacting American taxpayers.
I am excited to be with you Redditors today and hope to answer as many questions as possible. Please feel free to read more below and ask me (almost) anything about this open letter and otherwise! I am also being assisted today by a veteran Redditor who will help me address Reddit-specific questions (ducks and horses?).
My short bio: At the IRS, I was a specialist and territory manager for 23 states. I have testified in US tax court, written several books and twice won IRS Civil Servant of the Year awards. I have a BS, MS and MBA and am currently a qualified mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court. In my younger years, I also worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers and was a sewer inspector.
Context: This publication was made to raise awareness and motivate voters for the upcoming elections. Congressman Darrell Issa, the wealthiest man in Congress and Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has investigated the Lois Lerner Tea Party concerns with a dozen investigations costing over $12 million and collected over 67,000 emails while not finding any illegal activity at the IRS. There certainly was mismanagement, poor decision making and inappropriate acts by the IRS. These should be addressed. However, while focusing on this headline-catching case, the Committee has lost focus and severely underfunded the IRS. This cripples the agency hurts law-abiding taxpayers who want and need help from the agency – it also allows identity thieves and criminals to go unprosecuted, all at the expense of everyday Americans.
Disclaimers: While I can give my opinions on tax law and the state of the IRS, I cannot give you tax advice. I am open to other questions but am hoping to focus on the pressing political issues surrounding the current state of the IRS, its dysfunctional elements and how we can improve the agency for the benefit of honest US taxpayers.
Resources: For more about me and other books I have written, you can visit my website at MikeGreg.com. For a preview, click here - for a free digital copy of this open letter, stay tuned on Twitter or my blog. Hard copies of the book can also be purchased from Birch Grove Publishing on Thursday – any donations for the digital copy you may wish to make will go toward reimbursing the publisher for costs of production.