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Russell George

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BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
An Internal Revenue Service watchdog is warning taxpayers of a scam that so far has swindled 20,000 people out of a combined $1 million, officials said Thursday. The Treasury inspector general for Taxpayer Administration said sophisticated scammers are cold-calling people claiming to be from the IRS and are armed with enough information, such as the last four digits of a person's Social Security number, to convince victims to wire them money. "This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen," said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for Tax Administration.  The scammers have targeted thousands of people in nearly every state, the agency said.  Callers claim to be from the IRS and tell people they owe taxes that must be paid immediately using a pre-paid debit card or through a wire transfer.
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BUSINESS
March 22, 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
If the IRS is calling and demanding you pay up or else, it's probably not the IRS. In what officials in Washington are calling the largest of its kind, a sophisticated phone scam has swindled 20,000 people nationally out of a combined $1 million. Scammers are armed with enough information and technological know-how to bilk taxpayers, often convincing unsuspecting victims because they can recite the last four digits of their Social Security number, officials said. The call that comes in appears to be -- at least on caller ID -- from the Internal Revenue Service.
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NEWS
May 22, 2013 | By Richard Simon and Melanie Mason
WASHINGTON - A top Internal Revenue Service official invoked the 5th Amendment and declined to testify Wednesday before a House committee investigating the agency's mishandling of applications by some conservative groups for tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, director of the IRS' exempt organizations unit, spoke deliberately and crisply in her opening remarks to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the first time she has appeared before Congress since she revealed earlier this month that the division she oversaw inappropriately screened and questioned tea party and other groups seeking nonprofit status.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
An Internal Revenue Service watchdog is warning taxpayers of a scam that so far has swindled 20,000 people out of a combined $1 million, officials said Thursday. The Treasury inspector general for Taxpayer Administration said sophisticated scammers are cold-calling people claiming to be from the IRS and are armed with enough information, such as the last four digits of a person's Social Security number, to convince victims to wire them money. "This is the largest scam of its kind that we have ever seen," said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for Tax Administration.  The scammers have targeted thousands of people in nearly every state, the agency said.  Callers claim to be from the IRS and tell people they owe taxes that must be paid immediately using a pre-paid debit card or through a wire transfer.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Wes Venteicher
WASHINGTON -- The ousted top official of the Internal Revenue Service will appear before a House committee Friday morning, his first public appearance since controversy erupted last week over how the agency mishandled applications for tax-exempt status for conservative advocacy groups. Steven T. Miller, who resigned as acting commissioner Wednesday, is to testify at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee beginning at 9 a.m.  Also on the witness list is J. Russell George, the treasury inspector general for tax administration who released a report this week detailing how employees in a Cincinnati field office inappropriately flagged conservative groups applying for nonprofit status and subjected them to extensive questioning and lengthy processing delays.
BUSINESS
March 22, 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
If the IRS is calling and demanding you pay up or else, it's probably not the IRS. In what officials in Washington are calling the largest of its kind, a sophisticated phone scam has swindled 20,000 people nationally out of a combined $1 million. Scammers are armed with enough information and technological know-how to bilk taxpayers, often convincing unsuspecting victims because they can recite the last four digits of their Social Security number, officials said. The call that comes in appears to be -- at least on caller ID -- from the Internal Revenue Service.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday morning for the agency's "foolish mistakes" in its handling of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status and attributed the IRS' actions to a misguided pursuit of efficiency instead of partisan targeting. Steven Miller, the IRS acting commissioner, appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee, the first congressional showdown on the issue since revelations the agency inappropriately singled out tea party and other conservative groups for additional scrutiny.
OPINION
May 31, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of tax-exempt groups based on their political leanings has prompted investigations by at least four congressional committees and the Justice Department. The acting head of the IRS has been sent packing. And the hearings on Capitol Hill show no sign of abating. The attention is appropriate because of the troubling questions the scandal raises about the agency's independence. But the report that brought the episode to light - by J. Russell George, a Treasury Department inspector general - became politicized so quickly that those questions may be given short shrift.
IMAGE
May 21, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, Matea Gold and Melanie Mason
WASHINGTON -- The former top official of the Internal Revenue Service told senators Tuesday he was “dismayed and saddened” by an inspector general's report detailing how, during his tenure as IRS commissioner, the agency inappropriately scrutinized targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Douglas Shulman, who ran the agency for five years before retiring in November 2012, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday morning, along with Steven T. Miller, who succeeded him as acting IRS chief, and J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Harney
Remember the federal tax credit programs offering $7,500 and later $8,000 to first-time home buyers? The credits were designed to deliver a jolt to the reeling housing industry, and they did: More than 4 million people applied for and have received nearly $30 billion worth of credits. Most went to people who legitimately qualified for the credits, according to the Internal Revenue Service, the federal agency that administers them. But a series of audits by the Treasury's inspector general for tax administration has documented foul-ups by the IRS, including credits granted to prison inmates and dead people, fraud schemes involving claimants who never bought a house and even credits for alleged home purchases by teenagers and children as young as 3. But far more commonplace, according to auditors, were shortcomings by the IRS in distinguishing between taxpayers who were supposed to repay their credits over a 15-year period — as required under the original $7,500 program in 2008 — and people for whom there was no such requirement under later versions of the program allowing credits up to $8,000.
OPINION
May 31, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of tax-exempt groups based on their political leanings has prompted investigations by at least four congressional committees and the Justice Department. The acting head of the IRS has been sent packing. And the hearings on Capitol Hill show no sign of abating. The attention is appropriate because of the troubling questions the scandal raises about the agency's independence. But the report that brought the episode to light - by J. Russell George, a Treasury Department inspector general - became politicized so quickly that those questions may be given short shrift.
NEWS
May 22, 2013 | By Richard Simon and Melanie Mason
WASHINGTON - A top Internal Revenue Service official invoked the 5th Amendment and declined to testify Wednesday before a House committee investigating the agency's mishandling of applications by some conservative groups for tax-exempt status. Lois Lerner, director of the IRS' exempt organizations unit, spoke deliberately and crisply in her opening remarks to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the first time she has appeared before Congress since she revealed earlier this month that the division she oversaw inappropriately screened and questioned tea party and other groups seeking nonprofit status.
IMAGE
May 21, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, Matea Gold and Melanie Mason
WASHINGTON -- The former top official of the Internal Revenue Service told senators Tuesday he was “dismayed and saddened” by an inspector general's report detailing how, during his tenure as IRS commissioner, the agency inappropriately scrutinized targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. Douglas Shulman, who ran the agency for five years before retiring in November 2012, appeared before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday morning, along with Steven T. Miller, who succeeded him as acting IRS chief, and J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Wes Venteicher
WASHINGTON -- The ousted top official of the Internal Revenue Service will appear before a House committee Friday morning, his first public appearance since controversy erupted last week over how the agency mishandled applications for tax-exempt status for conservative advocacy groups. Steven T. Miller, who resigned as acting commissioner Wednesday, is to testify at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee beginning at 9 a.m.  Also on the witness list is J. Russell George, the treasury inspector general for tax administration who released a report this week detailing how employees in a Cincinnati field office inappropriately flagged conservative groups applying for nonprofit status and subjected them to extensive questioning and lengthy processing delays.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Melanie Mason and Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - The ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday morning for the agency's "foolish mistakes" in its handling of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status and attributed the IRS' actions to a misguided pursuit of efficiency instead of partisan targeting. Steven Miller, the IRS acting commissioner, appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee, the first congressional showdown on the issue since revelations the agency inappropriately singled out tea party and other conservative groups for additional scrutiny.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Harney
Remember the federal tax credit programs offering $7,500 and later $8,000 to first-time home buyers? The credits were designed to deliver a jolt to the reeling housing industry, and they did: More than 4 million people applied for and have received nearly $30 billion worth of credits. Most went to people who legitimately qualified for the credits, according to the Internal Revenue Service, the federal agency that administers them. But a series of audits by the Treasury's inspector general for tax administration has documented foul-ups by the IRS, including credits granted to prison inmates and dead people, fraud schemes involving claimants who never bought a house and even credits for alleged home purchases by teenagers and children as young as 3. But far more commonplace, according to auditors, were shortcomings by the IRS in distinguishing between taxpayers who were supposed to repay their credits over a 15-year period — as required under the original $7,500 program in 2008 — and people for whom there was no such requirement under later versions of the program allowing credits up to $8,000.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
The Internal Revenue Service used more tax liens, individual reviews and corporate audits last year to boost enforcement collections by 22%, an inspector general's report said. Corporate examinations rose 4% in fiscal year 2007, reversing an eight-year trend, the report said. Still, the rate of IRS examinations of corporate returns is below the 1998 level. "The IRS has reversed many of the enforcement declines in both collection and examination functions," the report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Russell George said.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
The Internal Revenue Service forgoes billions of dollars because the tax-collection agency doesn't try to reconcile income statements containing incorrect identification numbers with tax accounts. The IRS received about 3.8 million income statements worth about $150 billion that had incorrect information in 2004, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, or Tigta, said in an audit report released Tuesday.
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