Lois Lerner’s missing emails have been the subject of much contention since 2012 when Republicans began to question the way the IRS was treating conservative groups seeking tax exemptions. Recently, the government has said that the missing emails may exist after all. Tax attorney Rob Wood discusses the situation in this report and in his Forbes article “Lost & Found IRS Emails Suggest Smidgen Of Confusion, Or Worse.”
Wood says that the whole situation has been confused for some time—“sort of a Keystone Kops routine.” There has been a long investigation, there have been questions about what Lerner did, there have been suggestions of rogue employees in the Cincinnati office of the IRS, and clear answers have been hard to come by.
Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit to look for answers, and that lawsuit uncovered the fact that there was a backup system where the emails should be stored and from which the emails could be recovered. There is still some question what can be recovered and what the recovered emails will show.
Conservative groups have claimed that they were “interrogated incessantly” by the IRS regarding their applications for tax exempt status. Wood explains that there are application forms—over 20 varieties—that can be used to seek some kind of special tax status. It is not unusual for the IRS to have some kind of continuing colloquy with an applicant. The question raised in the Lerner investigation is whether the back and forth between the IRS and applicants was politically motivated. There will almost surely be more to this story before it ends.
For more information on the subject, please refer to Mr. Wood’s article in Forbes. Robert Wood is a tax attorney with Wood, LLP in San Francisco, California and spoke with The Tax Law Channel, an affiliate of The Legal Broadcast Network. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.