Tax Machine Blog™

The IRS just walked in and announced that they had emptied the store’s bank account.

IRS makes me sad




Over at WaPo this week, George Will wrote a piece on some of the terrible things the IRS is known for. (To see my earlier review of when WaPo got something completely wrong, click here)

The story recounts how IRS Agents determined that a grocery store was running a criminal enterprise because a TRM/CTR report was filed by the bank.

See, the bank has an obligation to report suspicious activity to the government. One thing that will trigger an automatic report is if an individual conducts a transaction involving more than $10,000 cash changing hands between the customer and teller (a CTR). However, fully aware that people will attempt to avoid this automatically triggered reporting by making smaller deposits, the law also provides for a supplemental report (a TRM) that bank employees are supposed to file if it appears that people are structuring transactions. The problem is that – in this case – the government overreached as the result of activity that appeared suspicious, but actually had a legitimate cause:


“Because 35 percent of Schott’s Supermarket’s receipts are in cash, Terry and Sandy make frequent trips to the bank to avoid tempting actual criminals by having large sums at the store. Besides, their insurance policy covers no cash loss in excess of $10,000.”

This is what happens when Anti-money-laundering measures give the IRS awesome power – innocent Americans get caught in the crossfire.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

  • Taxessuck

    The IRS is increasingly becoming nothing more than another political tool to be manipulated by those with power. This case is a perfect example. The circumstances with Lois Lerner even more so.

    • Tom

      I agree 100%. While I think the jury is still out on whether or not the administration was directly involved in the 501(c)(4) scandal, I’d say that it is obvious that Lois Lerner acted BEYOND inappropriately, and probably with some sort of malice.

      It has yet to be seen if she, or Bridget Kelly was a worse offender. Some might say that Lois Lerner’s actions had an impact on a national scale. But honestly, I sympathize more with those who were stuck in traffic in Fort Lee – without causing their own involvement – than I do for a bunch of Tea Part groups who CHOSE to ask the IRS to recognize them, while simultaneously advocating for its annihilation. If anything, I think there is a good chance that the animus/malice the IRS directed at these groups had more to do with the groups’ anti-IRS message than anything else. (I’m not saying that makes it OK.) Just look at how the IRS treats tax protesters who actually put forth logical arguments — they do everything to make sure their opponents end up in a jail cell!