See what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but totally untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legal, even though they are widely shared on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts:

Congress does not exempt its members from IRS audits

Disclaimer: Members of the US Congress recently voted to exempt the IRS from auditing their personal finances.

Fact: Congress has yet to vote on any such measure, according to spokespeople for the IRS, the Speaker of the House and the House Ways and Means Committee. Unsupported claims that U.S. lawmakers voted to exempt themselves from IRS audits circulated online this week after tweets from an account making numerous false claims were interpreted as true. “Breakthrough,” read the Aug. 17 tweet, which amassed more than 13,000 shares. “In order to preserve democracy, Congress voted to exempt itself and its members from upcoming IRS audits.” Hours later, the same account suggested it was a joke, writing that “a surprising number of American adults” couldn’t spell or identify The word “sarcasm”. Despite this, the tweet was not deleted or tagged, and the false claim has been circulated in real form on Twitter and Instagram. A review of legislation recently passed by Congress found no bills that meet this requirement. The Reducing Inflation Act, which became law last week and sparked a backlash over misinformation from the IRS, does not include any such provisions. Terry Lemons, IRS communications and liaison chief, confirmed to The Associated Press that the claim is false and that “all tax filers are treated equally under the tax code.” House Speaker Nancy Payne Losey’s spokesman, Henry Connery, said the claim was “nonsense”. Dylan Peachey, a spokesman for the House Ways and Means Committee, also confirmed the claim was false.

— Associated Press writer Ali Swenson in New York contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: