IRS Whistleblower by Richard Schickel

whistleblowerThe very idea of the IRS strikes fear in most people’s hearts. And, when reading IRS Whistleblower, those fears could at first be increased. The crimes and abuse by IRS employees at times seem almost unbelievable. But they’re real, and they’re only a part of the secrets revealed by a brave former Senior Revenue Officer, Richard Schickel, who dares to expose what really happens between taxpayers and those who seek to collect from them.

Schickel worked for the IRS for 33 years and has pretty much seen it all. He tells of tax returns or checks being lost by the IRS, but blamed on the taxpayer. A severely outdated computer system renders the IRS highly ineffective technologically, almost unthinkable in this computer age. He also reveals severe security breaches, and outright crimes that IRS employees commit. Schickel tells of a secret system where audits are concerned. And this is just the tip of the iceberg that is this book.

But in spite of this, IRS Whistleblower isn’t a harsh book; instead, it’s eye-opening in its honesty. The best news is that he also offers advice to taxpayers on  how to brave the system, whether it’s something such as  an audit, a letter of payment due or something more serious…and win. In fairness, he also speaks of taxpayer indiscretions such as hiding money from the government, or claiming expenses and deductions that are not allowed. At the back of the book is a  Q & A section that handles most questions readers might have that were not addressed in the main part of the book.

This can’t be described as a fun read, but it is very informative and thought-provoking. An IRS Commissioner is quoted as saying, “We follow the law whenever we can.” Scary words from a government official. Readers owe it to themselves to read this book, to arm themselves against such disturbing thinking should they ever go up against the IRS.

It’s quite a task to present something that is, on the one hand, an exposure of a major institution, and on the other hand, a look at how to apply what’s been learned to better know the in’s and out’s of dealing with that institution.

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