The commision replies

The Idaho Tax Commission has delivered its response to the batch of serious charges delivered several weeks back by veteran auditor Stan Howland. (We’ve posted it.)

The response is longer than Howland’s original, and as blunt: “The Commission, and the individuals involved, reject as completely untrue any allegation that cases are illegally or inappropriately compromised. ”

A key procedural element, referred to right up front: “When a taxpayer protests an NODD [Notice of Deficiency Determination], it is important that the protest process offer an impartial review. Moreover, it must be seen to offer an impartial review. It is difficult to have an impartial review, and impossible to be seen to have one, when the auditor sits in judgment on his own NODD. That is why auditor involvement is minimized at the protest level. Protests are heard either by Commissioners or their designees.”

On the other hand, if those conducting the impartial review hearing mostly from the taxpayer and very little from the auditor, you can develop some unusual forms of impartiality.

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