March 14, 2010

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: Two IRS Agents Demand Past-Due Taxes From Car Wash Owner: 4 Cents (Plus $202.31 Interest and Penalties).

Zeff, who also owns local parking lots and is the president of the Midtown Business Association, finds the situation a bit comical. “It’s hilarious,” he says, “that two people hopped in a car and came down here for just 4 cents. I think (the IRS) may have a problem with priorities.”

They were reportedly “very aggressive, very condescending,” too. I think they deserve some condescension themselves. The agents’ names aren’t given, which is too bad. But if IRS folks are asking “why do they hate us?” stories like this might be a good place to start . . .

UPDATE: A longstanding IRS reader emails with a contrary take:

Let’s say I’m an employer, I have employees that I pay as employees, iow I withhold federal, state, local and payroll taxes. The money that I withhold I deposit on some recurring schedule, it varies, but at the end of each quarter I file a quarterly return that reports the deposits I’ve made in the quarter possibly with a payment and at the end of the return there should be nothing owed. If you file a return late, there’s a penalty. If there’s a balance due there’s a penalty. Gee, we punish activity that we want to see less of, wotta concept.

We consider the deposits to be trust fund monies as the money is actually the employees’ that the business is paying in for them. We take a dim view of playing fast and loose with your employees’ money. If you owe delinquent taxes any money we receive is applied against the actual tax debt and is not applied against penalties and interest until the actual tax is paid. If the dude owed us 202 or 3 dollars and change with a remaining tax debt of $0.04, well, that wasn’t accrued on four cents. That’s just what’s left of the tax that he hasn’t paid up on yet.

If we’ve gotten to the point of sending out revenue officers/agents, it’s because telephone calls and communicating by mail have failed. It’s 2010 and we’re just now visiting in person over 2006 taxes? I’d say he’s been bs’ing us for quite some time and we didn’t go tearing out the driveway looking for scalps. We have a taxpayer assistance office in Sacramento, at least one, and if he’d seen fit to haul is oh so smart self on over when he got the first, second, third, nth notice this would’ve gone away.

The old boy is obviously grandstanding here because we wouldn’t have gone public with the media over this. I see folk every day that are po’d at us because we hold them accountable for their actions. I could be called very aggressive and condescending too as I have a low tolerance for BS. Blame being a retired cavalryman for that.

Well, stay tuned. If there’s more to this story, we’ll probably hear it.

Plus, from the comments in the post above, this: “Refresh my memory–what penalties and interest were assessed on Geithner again?”

Also this: “Just wait until the healthcare police get up and running, won’t that be fun. All else aside, this is an example of the biggest reason for being against government run healthcare.”

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