A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Cruz Inflates IRS ‘Agents’

Sen. Ted Cruz has repeatedly gotten basic facts about the Internal Revenue Service wrong when delivering one of his favorite applause lines, calling for its abolition.

IRS, Benghazi and Accountability

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani praised New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for holding “people accountable who were responsible” for the “stupid” bridge lane closings — adding that’s something President Barack Obama “failed to do with Benghazi” and “failed to do with the IRS.”

Whoppers of 2013

It’s that time of year again when we look back — perhaps not so fondly — on the most noteworthy nonsense from the past 12 months.

A Botched Attack on IRS Budget

An ad calling for the abolishment of the IRS incorrectly claimed that the federal agency’s budget increased by $2 billion. In fact, it’s down by nearly $1 billion during President Barack Obama’s first term.

Republican Overreach on IRS

While there has been plenty to find fault with in the revelation that the IRS targeted some tea party groups seeking tax exempt status, some of the Republican rhetoric has been an overreach.

IRS Officials Misled Congress, Public

IRS officials gave false or misleading information on numerous occasions regarding its now discredited practice of targeting conservative groups that sought nonprofit status.

IRS Not So ‘Independent’

The Internal Revenue Service is not exactly an “independent agency,” as President Obama claimed during a May 13 press conference. In fact, it is a bureau of the Treasury Department, an executive agency within the federal government.

Group’s ‘Obamacare Tax Form’ Evades Facts

A conservative group misleads taxpayers on the Affordable Care Act and the Internal Revenue Service’s future role in enforcing it. Americans for Tax Reform posted a “projected” IRS tax form on its website that claims to “help families and tax specialists prepare” for new tax provisions under the health care law. But ATR makes several false claims:

The group claims taxpayers will have to disclose “personal identifying health information” to the IRS to prove they have insurance.

FactChecking Paul

Up next in our look at past claims made by the 2012 presidential candidates: Rep. Ron Paul. No stranger to presidential campaigns, the Texas Republican has made his share of factual flubs. Paul declared his 2012 candidacy May 13.

He falsely claimed last December that the estate tax "especially harms small and family-owned businesses." But if the estate tax was returned to 2009 levels, less than 8 percent of estates taxed in 2011 would be family farms and businesses,