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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The same GOP that wants the IRS abilished. Might as well turn them into the religious police, Saudi Arabia Style! Anyone who doesn't see what the GOP/Conservative leadership is aiming for needs to have their heads examined.

http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/gop-bill-irs-abortion-audits

Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

In testimony to a House taxation subcommittee on Wednesday, Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff of the nonpartisan Joint Tax Committee, confirmed that one consequence of the Republicans' "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" would be to turn IRS agents into abortion cops—that is, during an audit, they'd have to detemine, from evidence provided by the taxpayer, whether any tax benefit had been inappropriately used to pay for an abortion.

The proposed law, also known as H.R. 3, extends the reach of the Hyde Amendment—which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake—into many parts of the federal tax code. In some cases, the law would forbid using tax benefits—like credits or deductions—to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortion. If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.

"Were this to become law, people could end up in an audit, the subject of which could be abortion, rape, and incest," says Christopher Bergin, the head of Tax Analysts, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit tax policy group. "If you pass the law like this, the IRS would be required to enforce it."

The proposal, which House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has declared a top priority of the new Republican Congress, has 221 cosponsors and is expected to pass the House easily. The bill caused controversy and sparked a national protest campaign in January after Mother Jones reported that it would limit the Hyde Amendment's rape exception to cases of "forcible rape." Experts told Mother Jones that move could prevent Medicaid from paying for abortions in many rape cases, including statutory rapes. Despite the presence of many other controversial provisions, the bill regained momentum after its sponsors promised to strip the "forcible rape" language. But during Wednesday's hearing, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) highlighted the IRS enforcement issue, which has until now flown under the radar. He asked:

Would a woman have to certify that the Health Savings Account funds she spent on birth control pills or for a doctor's visit weren't used to pay for an abortion? If a woman were audited, would IRS agents be at her house demanding court documents or affidavits proving that her pregnancy was the result of rape or incest?

Barthold replied that the taxpayer would have to prove that she had complied with all applicable abortion laws. Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then "on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger," Owens says. "It would be fairly intrusive for the woman."

Not everyone has "contemporaneous written documentation" that a pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. And, as Owens notes, adults sometimes pay for abortions for their children. If H.R. 3 becomes law, parents could face IRS questions about whether they spent pre-tax money from health savings accounts on abortions for their kids. "It would seem there would have to be a question about that [in an audit] and maybe even a question on the tax return," Owens says.

The bill contains no instructions for how the IRS should enforce it. The wording of the legislation is so vague that the Joint Tax Committee offered several different interpretations of which parts of the tax code it might actually affect. But the law will unquestionably affect some portion of the tax code—an entire section of the bill is titled "Prohibition on Tax Benefits Relating to Abortion." (A spokesman for New Jersey GOP Rep. Chris Smith, the main author of the bill, did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for the IRS said the agency does not comment on pending legislation.)

"The Internal Revenue Service has no business interfering with a woman's right to a safe, legal, constitutionally-protected medical procedure," Thompson tells Mother Jones. "Private health care decisions belong to a woman, her family, and her doctor—not a government auditor."

Most IRS agents would likely agree, Owens says: "I don't think [IRS agents] enjoy prying around into those sorts of private matters." Another IRS veteran tells Mother Jones he doesn't believe his ex-colleagues would want to enforce such a law. "You can't ask people to go out and ask some woman about what the circumstances are surrounding her abortion. They just won't do it."

UPDATE: NARAL Pro-Choice America, one of the major groups supporting abortion rights, has issued a statement responding to this story:

"This bill gets more outrageous and insulting by the day. Not only would a woman have to describe her sexual assault to the police, but she could then be forced to relive that horrifying experience with an agent from the IRS," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "The 221 members of Congress who signed their names to this egregious bill must explain to their constituents why they want to give the IRS authority to audit rape survivors."

It's hard to know exactly what form "describ[ing] her sexual assault to the... IRS" would take, since this bill hasn't become law. But as I note in the story, "contemporaneous written documentation" is a general standard for the agency, so it's likely that, barring a change to the law, a woman would need to provide such documentation to the IRS during an audit. But what would meet the standard? A police report? Trial records? A doctor's note? Again, it's hard to predict.

UPDATE 2: In comments, HyperTyler asks whether this means the GOP is abandoning HIPAA, the law that protects privacy of health records. Answer: not really. The law allows law enforcement agents to obtain such records by submitting a written request. IRS agents conducting an audit almost certainly qualify as law enforcement agents in this context.

UPDATE 3: Remember the Republican abortion bill that tried to redefine "forcible rape"? That bit of the bill got removed after a public outcry, but the rest of it is still sailing through the GOP-controlled House. And in its zeal to make sure that no one anywhere ever gets an abortion, Republicans have decided that money you save via tax breaks or tax credits isn't your money after all. It's their money, and they want to make sure you spend it the way they want. Nick Baumann:

Under a GOP-backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?

....The proposed law, also known as H.R. 3, extends the reach of the Hyde Amendment—which bans federal funding for abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake—into many parts of the federal tax code. In some cases, the law would forbid using tax benefits—like credits or deductions—to pay for abortions or health insurance that covers abortion. If an American who used such a benefit were to be audited, Barthold said, the burden of proof would lie with the taxpayer to provide documentation, for example, that her abortion fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.

Here in the Drum household, for example, Marian is very big on taking advantage of her company's cafeteria-style health plan and putting aside pre-tax dollars each year to pay for medical incidentals. This is why I always save receipts for copays or bottles of aspirin or whatnot: so Marian can get reimbursed for this stuff out of pre-tax dollars.

The GOP's normal line is that this is your money, not the government's, despite the fact that it's a tax break that obviously costs the government some revenue. But no longer. If we were to submit a claim for an abortion, I guess it would be illegal unless it were the result of rape or incest. And we'd have a gang of jackbooted IRS thugs smashing down our door and demanding that we prove it.

Or something. It's unclear, of course, what the law would actually require. But at least we finally know the limits of the GOP anti-tax fervor. In a battle between tax cuts and making it harder for women to get an abortion, it turns out that abortion demagoguery wins.
 

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I haven't even checked in to the story(how they are lying)... but apparently, the communist ideology see's hypocrisy in the republicans using a government agency... while championing smaller government ? Is that the complaint ? -is there no hypocrisy in the left's championing of the communist ideology ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For all their lip service to personal freedoms and liberty and smaller government, the GOP has increased the size of government and increased its ability to spy on Americans every time they are in power.
 

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Yeah ? How do you figure ? In comparison to what ? This is a protection from wasteful spending of our tax dollars... in addition to protecting a primary difference in ideology. Your ideology expanded the size and scope. What you deem as "expansion" and "spying" is a direct result of your ideologies failure to protect where needed and intruding where you are not.

No hypocrisy or lip service... it is a means to an end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah ? How do you figure ? In comparison to what ? This is a protection from wasteful spending of our tax dollars... in addition to protecting a primary difference in ideology. Your ideology expanded the size and scope. What you deem as "expansion" and "spying" are a direct result of your ideologies failure to protect where needed and intrude where you are not.
:rolling:

Wow. That is one of THE most laughable things you have ever said. Maybe you should lookup what the IRS is tasked to do. Let's combine this with the Napoleanic Law that the GOP tends to favor. Let's examine how this combines with the miscarriage law proposed in GA.

Nuts. Invasion of freedoms and liberties.
 

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I applaud this to an extent. I do not want my tax dollars in any way paying for murder. I also do not want murders to use tax-free dollars to pay for the murder of their children.
 

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Break my post down, brother. Don't get all snarky while providing zero facts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Break my post down, brother. Don't get all snarky while providing zero facts.
Why? You don't understand the duties of the IRS or that the PA was a Pub invention or that the CIA being used inside the US was a Pub idea. But your comment about protecting a difference in ideology is exactly what I am saying: Using the IRS as the religious police ala Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Napoleanic France.
 

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Why? You don't understand the duties of the IRS
And you do ?

- What do you call Obama using the IRS to enforce Obama-care ? Socialist policing ? -ala USSR and N.Korea ?

PA was a Pub invention.
That story was a leftism. I already soundly trounced that lie with proof. But... just like all leftism's... you are attempting to tell the same lie over and over, until it becomes a truth within your ideology.
 

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Better than most, yes.
You will have to excuse my disbelief in your claim... as I have yet to be shown proof in any of your claims of expertise. You simply state that you are... while showing the very opposite to be true... on a constant basis. You buddies, mothers, uncle... does not make you knowledgeable.

You know all about that, Mr Anti-gay Anti-semite. Both of which you have openly admitted.
Incorrect on both accounts (as usual)

I am against affording extra or special rights for gays. That's it.

Two of my best friends are Arabic... and Muslim.
 
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