Exclusive: A Small Business Owner’s Nightmare with the IRS

LCN previously reported on an important tax reform which the Trump administration passed that would bring more accountability to the IRS when dealing with property seizures.

This was a solid reform for taxpayers nationwide. For many hard-working Americans, the IRS has been a major burden.

Just ask Cyril and Brenda Huerter.

According to information Mr. Huerter shared with LCN, the couple has been “subjected to either gross incompetence or possible political targeting by the IRS since 1994.”

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Huerter filed his own taxes until 1968 when a business partner suggested that it would be more efficient to have a CPA do that. Everything worked smoothly until 1992, when several of Huerter’s Enlisted Combat Aircrew colleagues in his Navy Reserve Squadron in Glenview, Illinois encouraged him to run for Congress.

Huerter took their word and retired from the Navy to run for office in Indiana’s 1st Congressional district against the Democratic incumbent Pete Viscolosky in the Democratic primary.

Shortly after filing, Huerter was subject to an IRS audit. The audit turned out fine. Huerter was able to receive a $165 refund and credits for the next two years.

Huerter challenged the Congressman again in the primaries in 1994. This time around, the IRS did everything they could to make Huerter’s life miserable. Huerter described this incident as an “audit from hell.”

According to Huerter, they didn’t get past the income page because the IRS falsely accused them of receiving nearly twice the income they had. Huerter provided bank statements which showed that what the IRS was counting as income was money that was being moved from local bank accounts to their Navy Federal Credit Union. Huerter and his wife have been using this Navy Federal Credit Union account as their primary bank account since he joined the Navy in 1974.

For reasons that they still don’t understand, the IRS persisted and slapped them with $19,000 in liens and levies. Huerter opted to work through the system, which included going through bankruptcy without legal assistance. He even turned to the Congressman who he ran against for help.

Viscolosky’s office didn’t dispute that the IRS was in the wrong, but the Congressman gave up in December 2013 and sent Huerter a letter indicating that there was nothing else he could do and recommended that he hire legal assistance. This all took place despite Huerter showing IRS records which clearly demonstrated that the IRS double charged him $7,500.

Huerter admits that he and his wife are in good financial shape. However, the time spent dealing with the IRS over this long period of time has sidetracked them from pursuing more lucrative endeavors.

Huerter told LCN that “It is so sad that when we share our story, especially with other successful business folks.”

He even conceded that their IRS abuse stories “are even worse than ours.”

Additionally, Huerter argues that his story dealing with the IRS “may be useful as a reason for Congress to significantly change the way we collect Federal taxes.”

Huerter’s goal at the moment is to get a credit for the $7500 that he can show he was clearly overcharged for. Then he wants a true accounting of all the actions the IRS took against him since 1994. This includes transcripts of all the IRS’ agent and administrative notes and reasons for the actions they took against Huerter.

Huerter is confident that the IRS will be unable to substantiate their initial attack on him in 1994 and their subsequent actions since then. He believes that when the IRS’s actions have been fairly assessed, a refund of all the penalty and interest charges that they’ve collected over the years along with compensation for damages will be in order.

Huerter’s encounter with the IRS is one of many instances of IRS abuse that Americans must put up with annually.

Hopefully, he will be able to receive some form of compensation for the all the trouble he has gone through.

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