“In 1955, there were approximately 14 penalty provisions in the Internal Revenue Code. There are now [in 2011] more than ten times that number.”  Internal Revenue Manual (“IRM”) part

Whenever I am asked why it is that I speak so often about penalties, I highlight the above quote from the IRS’s employee handbook. Whereas there were 14 penalty provisions in 1955, approximately 150 were listed by 2011; there are even more now, 13 years later.  But it’s not just the sheer number of penalties contained in the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) that makes penalties more relevant now than ever before; it’s the IRS’s enforcement of those provisions.

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