WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth today
applauded the appointment of William Webster to head the Internal Revenue
Service's review of the Criminal Investigations Division. Roth's statement
"Mr. Webster is a good choice to head this review. Commissioner
Rossotti should be complimented for his quick response to this issue. Our
investigation has showed that the Criminal Investigations Division of the
IRS has some very serious problems.
"I urge this task force to look at whether some of the responsibilities
of the IRS's Criminal Investigations Division should be transferred to
the Justice Department or the Drug Enforcement Agency. Responsibilities
such as those involving hard core criminal cases might be better off handled
by an agency that is more experienced with these types of matters.
"The Senate Finance Committee today heard testimony that a big
part of the problem with the IRS CID is that intrusive and oppressive law-enforcement
techniques used on violent and dangerous criminals are being used in routine
criminal tax investigations of taxpayers who are neither dangerous nor
violent. We also heard testimony that just fifteen years ago, the techniques
used for criminal tax enforcement were totally different. On Wednesday,
the committee will hear more about the CID -- from taxpayers who have been
victimized by the division's unnecessarily heavy handed enforcement.
"Shifting heavy duty law enforcement over to agencies that are
experienced with violent criminal behavior would go a long way toward taking
fear out of dealing with the IRS for many taxpayers."