19013Possible Solution for Delayed FOIA Responses from IRS
- Nov 5, 2012
I formulated a response to a non-responsive FOIA response to a request for a signed assessment. Somebody took that
and applied it to several time extension requests on a FOIA for substitute for returns:
Certified Receipt # 7011 2970 0002 6791 XXXX
(Include the Requester's name and this receipt # in your reply)
Dear Ms. Johnson & Ms. Tyson:
This letter is in response to your FOIA response dated October 24, 2012, to my FOIA Request dated August 24, 2012 with Certified Receipt # 7011 2970 0002 6791 XXXX.
Your response dated October 24, 2012 & August 24, 2012 requested time extensions. The first request asked for 10 business day extension, but exceeded that deadline by 10 additional days. The second request asked for 20 business day extension. This is a total of 40 business days.
Your responses did not cite any regulation that would allow you to take an extension to respond. There is only one allowance for time extension, and that is for unusual circumstances, each of which are listed plainly. Additionally, you did not state any of the unusual circumstances contained in the regulations were present to justify your request for this time extension.
An allowable time extension is in Treasury Regulation 601.702(c)(11)(i)(B) states, "Any extension or extensions of time for unusual circumstancesshall not cumulatively total more than ten days(exclusive of Saturday, Sunday and legal public holidays). " [Emphasis added.]
The IRS FOIA Guidelines clearly states, "The FOIA permits the IRS to extend the 20-day statutory time limit by 10 additional days in unusual circumstances as set forth in the FOIA and Treasury Regulation 601.702(c)(11)(i)(A)(1)-(4). These circumstances include the need to collect records from field locations, review large numbers of records, and consult with other agencies." [Emphasis added.]
Since 6020(B) Returns are standard IRS documents, and since we have computers which enable us to obtain information in a timely manner, the unusual circumstances listed in the regulations do not validate nor facilitate any time extension. The current time delay is now more triple the cumulative total of 10 days allowable if unusual circumstances had existed.
My understanding is that, as a disclosure officer, you are required to provide the information requested, or to inform me that it does not exist. My request came from the exact phrasing of that in the Code and the regulation, and I hereby request that you either give me what the law requires or admit that it does not exist.
As a reminder, Ms. Johnson & Ms. Tyson, according to title 26 U.S.C. § 7214, pertaining to Offenses by officers and employees of the United States § 7214(a)(3) in pertinent part states:
(a)Unlawful acts of revenue officers or agents: Any officer or employee of the United States acting in connection with any revenue law of the United States--(3)who with intent to defeat the application of any provision of this title fails to perform any of the duties of his office or employment; shall be dismissed from office or discharged from employment and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $10,000, or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. The court may in its discretion award out of the fine so imposed an amount, not in excess of one-half thereof, for the use of the informer, if any, who shall be ascertained by the judgment of the court. The court also shall render judgment against the said officer or employee for the amount of damages sustained in favor of the party injured, to be collected by execution. [Emphasis added.]
I am pointing this out because the FOIA and Privacy Act statutes require you to make disclosures and not delay, and also not to send out alternative information.
If the forms 6020(B) for Substitute Returns exist, please provide a copy, if they do not, is there a reason you cannot plainly tell me so?
Since this delay will exceed the expiration for the notary's commission, I have included a new copy of my current notarized signature with a current, valid notary commission stamp. And, to make sure that it is all according to the regulation, my FOIA Request is attached as well.
Ms. Johnson & Ms. Tyson, thank you for your courtesy letters. I appreciate that you got back to me within the alloted time frame. I simply request that you provide the information requested immediately, or let me know that it does not exist. It is important that I obtain this information so that I can proceed with my business dealings. Your assistance in this matter is much appreciated.
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