Republican Reps. John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Dave Camp have sent a letter to Douglas Shulman, head of the Internal Revenue Service, asking that the IRS “sever all ties” with ACORN. Currently, the IRS has an agreement under which ACORN is part of a program to assist lower-income people in preparing their tax returns. But in light of those undercover video reports depicting ACORN employees in Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City offering advice on, among other things, hiding income from the IRS, House Republicans are asking that the IRS-ACORN partnership be ended. “It is alarming to think that one of the IRS's largest and rapidly growing partners in a tax preparation program allegedly employs individuals who encourage tax fraud,” the GOP lawmakers write.
Here is the text of the GOP letter to the IRS:
Dear Commissioner Shulman:
We are writing you today to encourage you to sever all ties between the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Currently, ACORN serves as partner with the IRS to assist low and middle class individuals with free tax preparation. Recently, however, news reports have brought to light that certain ACORN employees on multiple occasions have been advising their clients on methods of defrauding the IRS and the American taxpayers all while concealing and promoting other illegal activities.
Despite these alleged abuses, the IRS helpline continues to refer individuals to ACORN offices for tax preparation consultation and continues to offer an implicit endorsement of their work. In fact, Ron Smith, IRS Chief of Community and Volunteer Partnership, states on ACORN's website that “ACORN has had the most significant growth of all of our national partners.” It is alarming to think that one the IRS's largest and rapidly growing partners in a tax preparation program allegedly employs individuals who encourage tax fraud.
The reports and video footage of these violations were so severe that the United States Census Bureau has severed their relationship with the ACORN organization. We call on you to do the same and launch an immediate investigation into their alleged tax fraud. We eagerly await your reply.