IRS customer service representatives managed to answer only about a tenth of taxpayers' phone calls this season, and even the lucky ones waited an average of nearly 25 minutes before getting through, the agency's auditor reported Thursday.
Taxes & Budget
Coverage of the national budget and your taxes.
By Stephen Dinan - The Washington Times
A lawyer who worked in the IRS ethics office was disbarred Thursday by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which concluded she misappropriated a client's funds from a case she handled in private practice, broke a number of ethics rules and showed "reckless disregard for the truth" in misleading a disbarment panel looking into the matter. Published April 2, 2015
Fresh from a two-week vacation, Congress is back and already struggling to meet a pair of looming deadlines, with no prospect for a budget and little progress on breaking a stalemate on Medicare spending.
The United State has agreed to work with China to hunt down corrupt Chinese officials fleeing abroad, the official Xinhua news agency reported Friday.
Conservative activists pushing to amend the Constitution to rein in federal spending are preparing to delve into state legislative elections across the country, specifically targeting Republicans who are standing in the way of a convention of the states.
The Obama administration informed House Speaker John A. Boehner this week it will not prosecute former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner for contempt of Congress, concluding that she did not waive her Fifth Amendment rights to avoid answering questions when she was called to testify nearly two years ago.
Kraft Foods is the latest in a long line of acquisitions by a private equity firm whose budget-cutting initiatives are so aggressive that employees complain they're asked to justify the cost of a photocopy. Now some politicians and 2016 GOP potential presidential contenders are imaging a world where the U.S. federal government is asked to do the same.
Sen. Rand Paul used last week's battle over the federal budget to reinforce his image as the top fiscal hawk in the 2016 presidential field, calling out his colleagues for demanding more military spending without showing how they would pay for it.
In early 2008 liberal icon Edward M. Kennedy blessed Barack Obama's long shot presidential campaign, declaring the freshman Illinois senator the next great progressive leader in a symbolic passing of the torch.
House Republicans came together Wednesday to pass a budget that balances within a decade, cutting spending by over $5 trillion, repealing Obamacare and turning Medicare into a voucherlike system along the way.
Sweet Sixteen. Final Four. Egregious Eight. That's what Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake is calling his bracket of eight recent or ongoing government programs he's calling out as wasteful spending.
President Obama's budget suffered its latest ignominious defeat when the Senate rejected it on a 98-1 vote Tuesday evening, capping off the first votes of the budget season.
The administration said Friday it still had to send corrected tax forms to 80,000 of the 820,000 HealthCare.gov customers who received erroneous information from the federal Obamacare exchange earlier this year.
They may not be getting help on the phones, but taxpayers this year are increasingly making use of IRS.gov, the tax agency's website, to answer their questions.
Taxpayers across America shelled out at least $4.8 million last year to fund government-run ice rinks, and some city governments are running deficits in the tens of millions of dollars, all in an effort to subsidize ice skating and hockey playing.
They've written their budgets, but now Republican leaders must try to round up the votes to pass them amid an ever-more polarized GOP riven with disputes over defense spending and the pace of cutting entitlements.
A top U.S. Forest Service executive told his employees to probe their own "unconscious bias" on everything from race and sexuality to the disabled and fat people, asking them to use an unproven assessment tool to explore their feelings.
President Obama's spokesman urged the top tax chairmen in Congress Thursday not to "lose any sleep" about the possibility of the president raising taxes through unilateral executive action.
The IRS sometimes uses old software without key security patches that leave its computer systems vulnerable and could endanger taxpayers' private information, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday.
Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday his chamber likely will debate additional defense spending when his party's budget resolution heads to the floor next week.
Sens. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, and Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire Republican, on Thursday announced plans to reintroduce a bipartisan bill to slash a federal agency that has wasted roughly $10 million in taxpayer money over the past decade producing government reports that are already available online for free.
Congress's two top tax chairmen warned President Obama on Wednesday not to claim unilateral executive powers to raise taxes on his own, saying it violates the Constitution and ruins chances for a lasting deal.
The IRS is blaming Obamacare for the agency's poor customer service, with Commissioner John Koskinen telling Congress on Wednesday that he has had to take money away from answering phone calls and instead spend it on technology and personnel to carry out President Obama's health care law.
House Republicans unveiled a 2016 budget Tuesday that would cut $5.5 trillion from spending over the next 10 years, repeal Obamacare and change Medicare into a voucherlike system — key parts of a fiscally punishing blueprint designed to end red ink in less than a decade.
One million dollars that the CIA gave to the government of Afghanistan was in turn handed over to al Qaeda.
Visiting the Phoenix VA hospital where the veterans' health-care scandal began, President Obama said Friday that veterans shouldn't allow "a few bad apples" to cause them to lose sight of improvements to the system.
Taxpayers paid for President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama to fly separately Thursday to Los Angeles, where they appeared on separate TV talk shows on the same day.
In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, civilian workers at New Jersey's Naval Weapons Station Earle used the base's money to buy ceramic tile, molding and toilet partitions for their personal houses and exploited overtime pay — with some putting in and being approved for 24-hour work shifts during the disaster.
President Obama will proclaim progress Friday on promised reforms in veterans' health care at the Phoenix hospital where the scandal erupted last year, but critics and whistleblowers say little has changed at the ailing Department of Veterans Affairs.
Emboldened by winning the shutdown showdown over homeland security, and poised to triumph on raising the debt limit, Senate Democrats set their sights Thursday on the budget sequesters, demanding that Republicans hike taxes and raise spending.
After already spending more than $160 million (and millions more for the study and yakkety-yak) to design and construct a street line that runs a mere 2.4 miles, city leaders could scrap the project. And that might not be a bad idea.
Recent Opinion Columns
Flawed and cumbersome tax laws afflict taxpayers everywhere, but few are as irksome, as silly and as constitutionally dangerous as Maryland's "stormwater remediation fee," also known as "the rain tax," including whatever penumbras and emanations that followed. Gov.-elect Larry Hogan, a Republican, vowed during his campaign to free taxpayers from the overreaching state law that claims to protect the Chesapeake Bay and other waterways from polluted runoff, flooding and erosion. Together with others, he argues persuasively that it amounts to little more than a weather levy, with accompanying clouds.
The lame-duck Congress that will meet after the Nov. 4 election could lay a few golden eggs that will hatch into a new flock of crony capitalist ducklings. The gold would actually come from taxpayers. The politically well-connected are especially eager about an $18 billion giveaway to wind farms, a tax credit that benefits mostly millionaires and billionaires.
Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Marco Rubio of Florida recently laid out their vision of tax reform. They are right to push for reform. Our burdensome tax code is one of the major obstacles holding the economy back from reaching its potential. In the process, it is denying countless American families the opportunities they deserve.
If you pay people not to work, what do you think they will do?
A tobacco reduction conference hosted by the World Health Organization, the United Nation's public health agency, took a hostile and alarming turn on Monday when the public was kicked out of the meeting.