Miller and Lerner Received Credible Threats

There are many reasons why you should never threaten an IRS worker besides the fact that it is just not nice.  You could be blacklisted by the IRS or placed on their Potentially Dangerous Taxpayer (PDT) list.  Or, if the threat is serious enough, you could be prosecuted for an “attempt” crime like the Alaskan, Lonnie Vernon, who was recently sentenced to over 25 years imprisonment for conspiracy to kill an IRS Revenue Officer.

The IRS is abundantly aware of the risk involved in collecting taxes, especially when enforced collection actions, such as bank levies and wage garnishments, are employed.  IRS personnel have protocol for handling potentially dangerous situations and there are procedures (many carried out by TIGTA) in place to help protect IRS employees who have to work in these conditions.  Most often, the IRS employees who are subject to threats and dangerous situations are the Revenue Officers who work on the front lines and have direct personal contact with taxpayers.  However, we are currently hearing about threats directed at high-level IRS officials based on their supposed responsibility for the shortcomings associated with the IRS scandal.

Both Steven Miller (former acting IRS Commissioner who was fired by President Obama on May 15th) and Lois Lerner (head of the IRS tax exempt unit who has placed the blame on folks in Cincinnati) have been intimidated by threats of physical violence according to their attorneys and others who are close to them.  This is not normal.  Even the person holding the top job at the IRS, the Commissioner, typically has required very little by way of security over the years.  Maybe this will have to change.

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