Taxes

A Classic Tax Time Gotcha: With a Bonus Regulatory Twist

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It's always fun to ask public officials with the power to simplify our tax code whether they do their own taxes. The Daily Caller indulges in the age old pastime with predictable results:

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman practically ran away when The Daily Caller asked him whether he prepares his own taxes….

"I don't have time for this  … If you want an interview, you can call my office," he said, speed-walking down an ornate hallway in the Longworth House Office Building….

Shulman's spokesman later said he employs an accountant to prepare his tax filings, as does about 60 percent of the country who shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars each for such services.

Meanwhile, legislation is are under consideration to regulate the wazoo out of tax preparers:

Rep. Xavier Becerra, a top Democrat on the Ways & Means Committee that was holding the hearing, is keeping a watchful eye on those tax preparer services, who he says sometimes fleece unwitting customers. "Americans who could fill out a simple [tax forms] are being charged hundreds of dollars to do what they" could on their own, he said.

So does Becerra prepare his own taxes?

"No. I have a tax preparer back home who's been doing it for me for many years," he told The Daily Caller. Becerra explains that his finances are more complex — and his tax filings fall under far greater scrutiny — than ordinary Americans who could figure out the forms if they tried.

How about the chairman of Ways & Means oversight subcommittee that asked for Shulman to testify Thursday?

"Oh no, no, no, no, no. I have an accountant that I've been using for years," Rep. John Lewis said. He said he needs to head home this weekend to fill out paperwork for his accountant.

What should us ordinary folk do?

Lewis's suggestions is for people who are having a hard time with the forms go to the IRS for help. "Get on the telephone, call an IRS service center or go visit a service center … and have them walk through their filing," which, he noted, the IRS does for free.

Good advice. Except that, according to a report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, you get what you pay for:

The IRS provided "flatly incorrect answers 20 percent of the time." In another 15 percent of the cases, the IRS provided a "correct" answer without first obtaining the background information necessary to provide a correct answer–a serious oversight when providing tax advice.

As the IRS hotline competitors (soon to be regulated!) note:

  • IRS Answer Line receives approximately 118 million calls every year. Out of that number, nearly 41% of those calls are unanswered.*  This can lead to 48,000,000 unanswered questions.
  • IRS Answer Line has an estimated 10% error rate in information provided. That's over 7,000,000 incorrect answers!

NEXT: The NHS Jobs Program

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  1. This is the reason for the Fair Tax.

    1. So we can hire even more IRS agents?
      The “fair tax” campaign is just a stalking horse for a VAT

    2. Since the “Fair Tax” taxes identical transactions differently based on wether not one of the parties is a first-time end user of a particular good, I doubt any IRS agents are going to be laid off. Rather than scrutinizing income and spending records and monitoring income tax withholding, they’ll be scrutinizing sales records and monitoring proper VAT collection.

      Honestly, switching to a Sales Tax from and Income Tax is like having the rapist shift from one orfice to another.

      1. I’d take the FT over the VAT any day.

        Notice, though, how the liberals hate replacing income taxes with a sales tax, yet want to ADD the VAT on top of all other taxes.

        Fucking bastards.

        1. They’re smart enough at least to understand that:

          1 + 1 – 1 = 1

          Can’t pay for socialism with just “1”, you need at least 3-4.

      2. How about just an absolute flat rate tax, with no excise taxes, tax credits, or tax incentives, and no “progressive” games.

        1. Agreed – 0%

      3. Boy, y’all have that VAT talking point down pretty good. And a RETAIL sales tax will require plenty of monitoring, but monitoring a few million businesses versus 300 million individuals sounds like less work to me.

        1. A few million business with only a couple thousand transactions a piece….

          Oh shit, guess what, that’s a billion. Maths are fun.

          But billions of transactions would be less work than investigating 300million individuals, right?

          1. I guess everyone at Reason lost their calculators again.

            1. It’s cool, most desk calcs dont have that many digits anyway.

              (“use the computer right in front of me for math? how does that work?”)

              1. I’m being an ass of course. Most of the cases in either situation don’t warrant investigation, so the cost of compliance could very well be lower under a sales-tax-only system.

                1. and i guess the point underlying my snark was that it’s a large enough difference to want to REALLY work out the numbers before coming to any conclusions.

                  But that’s for terrorists, racists and pansies, so i won’t hold my breath.

                  1. and i guess the point underlying my snark was that it’s a large enough difference to want to REALLY work out the numbers before coming to any conclusions.

                    not really. Even if the cost of enforcement was the same, a consumption tax is still preferable to an income tax.

                    Of course, standard libertarian disclaimers apply in force. Would prefer either at 0%. And wont support the fair tax without a repeal of the 16th Amendment.

  2. It is amazing what dickless wonders these people are. How hard would it be to answer a few questions? All you have to do is say “yes I have my taxes prepared. But, my taxes are more complex than most. And we are working through X,Y and Z programs to make taxes simpler. And 90+% of the people in this country do get their taxes right”. How hard is that? No, just run away and show yourself to be a douchbag. These people can’t even lie properly.

    1. John, it’s simple… they won’t answer due to legal considerations.

      Just for shits’n’giggles, on the local level, I went to a city council meeting and asked the mayor if he preferred waffles or pancakes… and he said he could not commit to an answer. Likely, he couldn’t say “I’d have to call my attorney before I tell you” because that would’ve also been a potential legal hitch.

      I’m not shittin’ here. You can’t make up stuff like that.

      1. He clearly prefers waffles.

        1. I like ’em, too. When I get me a huntin’ license, that is.

        2. he said he could not commit to an answer

          ProL has it. Are you sure that he wasn’t actually giving you an exceedingly clever answer?

      2. Notice he couldn’t even manage a “Yes”.

        1. Meanwhile, every human i talk too is falling into that trap. Everyone is too busy to pay attention to anything any more, so all my A or B queries result in a yes (and accompanying facepalm action.)

          1. Apparently you talk to people too used to formal logic. You should ask them if they prefer A xor B.

  3. “visit a service center ? and have them walk through their filing”

    I did just that a few years ago.

    “Um, gee, I’m not sure. Hey, uh, … Joe, have you ever seen something like *this*? … No? … Denise? … Well, sir, if you’ll just leave this we’ll get back to you.”

    And, a few weeks later I received a check for $40, with no explanation.

    1. Damn, tell me what you said or showed them.

      1. OK, to be “fair”, here’s the rest of the story. I was being audited. The auditor insisted I had filled out a form improperly. I asked to be enlightened. The above utterances spewed forth. So. the $40 was a “refund”. I took *some* consolation in considering it payment for taking off work for such foolishness.

        1. Now that I think about it, going to the service center sounds like a good way to end up audited.

          1. I have a similar thought about the whole medical MJ movement.

            2 years from now, the fed will overrule all states challenges to drug laws, and then they’ll have all these handy lists of people who signed up to buy or sell weed. Can’t let that opportunity go to waste!

              1. Stop thinking so hard. My tin foil can’t keep it out.

  4. * IRS Answer Line receives approximately 118 million calls every year. Out of that number, nearly 41% of those calls are unanswered.* This can lead to 48,000,000 unanswered questions.
    * IRS Answer Line has an estimated 10% error rate in information provided. That’s over 7,000,000 incorrect answers!

    If the BUTTERBALL Hotline had that kind of record the USDA/FDA/CDC would shut them down in a heartbeat.

    1. Yeah, well I bet that the CEO of Butterball doesn’t prepare his own turkey. But since he doesn’t work for the government, he doesn’t have libertarian troublemakers bothering him at work asking him who cooks his turkeys.

      There’s this new thing called the specialization of labor. I don’t know if the folks at Reason have heard of it yet. It’s what allows you to complain about all the services that goverment provides us every day rather than having to grow your own food and make your own clothes and furniture.

      1. Hey dumb shit, they’re trying to make it more difficult for us rubes to use H&R Block. They’re telling us that we can fill out the “simple” forms by ourselves, while they have their special accountants that will maximize their tax returns.

        In conclusion, go suck a dick.

        1. 2nd, but may i recommend a bag of dicks?

          Using division of labor as justification for increased overhead is the biggest pile of bullshit i’ve heard since the last thing Obama let come out of his mouth.

          1. It’s like having a law requiring you to smash all your windows once a year, then defending it on the basis that glaziers exist.

            1. But, I thought all the glaziers were melting?

      2. all the services that goverment provides us every day rather than having to grow your own food and make your own clothes and furniture

        Wow – I didn’t know the gummints was growin food and makin clothes and furniture.

        No wonder they can’t balance the budget – too busy growin food and makin clothes and furniture.

        1. Nah, dude, its all those other services.

          You know, the babysitting (public school), the babysitting (national defense), the babysitting (health care).

          Don’t say you don’t like those services or can’t see the personal benefit to you on a daily basis.

          (If your sarcasm meter is still intact, let me know what model you use. Mine blew up after “dude”.)

          1. But I want some gummint foods and clothes and furniture to go with my gummint cheese, dagnabbit!

            1. And Choney Gumprrest says they’re makin it so we can focus on doing our own taxes, since H&R Block won’t be allowed to any more.

              Dagnabbit!

        2. No wonder they can’t balance the budget – too busy growin food and makin clothes and furniture.

          Vote Amish. I bet they could handle all 3.

          1. Their taxes are clearly not complex enough if they have time for all that.

            1. Scuse me – I’m gonna go fuck the babysitter

              1. Make sure to find out whether her parents claim her as a dependant. If not, you can totally deduct it.

                Or was it a deduction if she was a dependant. Eh, who cares…i mean FUCK IT.

            2. SERIOUSLY, why is nothing being done about the Amish!?!?! They’re destroying america by not paying taxes and contributing to everyone’s wellbeing!

              1. actually they do pay taxes. Give unto caesar, or something like that.

                they don’t pay social security, but it seems they got out of that because the government was confused about whether or not it was insurance or a tax.

      3. It’s what allows you to complain about all the services that goverment provides us every day rather than having to grow your own food and make your own clothes and furniture.

        If there was no government to complain about there would be more time for such enjoyable hobbies.

      4. Didn’t bother reading the articles, did you Forrest? The politicians are arguing that H&R Block and other services “obviously” fleece their customers because the tax forms are so simple that anyone should be able to do them.

        1. They are arguing that many of the tax agencies are not using the simplified form; consequently causing low income filers to incur needless expense.

          1. The only way to know if the more complicated forms will save someone money is to fill them out and compare to the simple forms.

            TurboTax fills out the AMT forms for me, even though I dont qualify for the AMT. Why does it fill them out? Because that is how you determine if you qualify for the AMT.

      5. If they work for the government, then they work for us “libertarian troublemakers” and they should answer our questions. If they don’t like it, the private sector awaits. I am sure most government employees have the needed skill level to pick up cans on the side of the road, just barely.

        1. Picking up cans by the road would be public sector, where they would retire at 50, collect their pension, and return to work picking up cans by the road.

          They should be picking up shit at the petting zoo.

      6. I tried, but I can’t even translate this stream of consciousness into something resembling an argument that could then be dissected.

        Where did you go to school, Forrest?

        1. Same place your mom went. And she gave me head in return for help with her long division.

          1. Forrest, life is like a box of chocolates. Yummy.

          2. I’m suddenly convinced by the mouth-farts that you call arguments.

  5. US PRESIDENT TIM KALEMKARIAN, US SENATE TIM KALEMKARIAN, US HOUSE TIM KALEMKARIAN: BEST MAJOR CANDIDATE.

  6. Fuck off Choad.

  7. By all means, allow the IRS to compute your taxes; they will bust their asses to keep your tax burden as low as possible.

    I want the absolute minimum potential for tax code -mandated social engineering; FLAT TAX, please.

    1. How do we convince people at poverty level that they should pay X% flat tax?

      1. Stop screwing around and just toss their lazy asses in jail already fer christ’s sake.

      2. Well, we could just let them opt out of all the perks of being a US citizen. That would be fair.

        1. I like the way you think

          1. Hey, now. Resident aliens still have rights. I wouldn’t go as low as you.

        2. That should be the entire role of the IRS. Don’t pay your taxes? Expect to be refused service at the DMV, the welfare office, and soon, your doctor.

        3. …there are perks?

      3. The same way they convince me to pay. Through a threat of violence,

        1. Well, you probably have something to lose. A flat tax (that maintains current gov. spending, not of course the libertarian ideal) could well push the poor low enough that they revolt (and are naturally crushed under heel), which would be bad for the business climate.

          1. Most variations of the flat tax include an exclusion for the cost of living. Say, the first $20,000 or so is tax-free.

      4. No payee no votee. It is unconstitutional to have a poll tax,but I am unsure that it is unconstitutional to base suffrage on having paid taxes on your income. Hell, I don’t care if political advocacy groups pay taxes for poor people to vote. At least us rubes won’t be the only people screaming when taxes go up.

        “Raise taxes 4%?! Do you know what it will cost to buy my Senate re-election at that rate?”

  8. (apologies to Woody Allen)
    1st old woman: The tax advice here at the IRS is sooo terrible!
    2nd old woman: Yeah, and there is so little of it!

  9. (groan)

  10. How do we convince people at poverty level that they should pay X% flat tax?

    Aside from an exclusion of a “base” income level?

    If people actually made a connection between “government goodies” and “higher taxes for ME” we might see a reduction of clamoring for unlimited free shit.

    1. That’s the beauty of the Fair Tax. Everybody sees how much they are paying for our crappy government.

    2. You do realize the difference between tax-inclusive and tax-exclusive rates, right? Because a 30% sales tax is gonna be a fucking tough sale.

      FairTax advocacy is for rubes who haven’t thought this thing through.

      1. 30% is my fucking dream tax. Do the real rubes think they are paying less with the tax system we have now?

        1. Most of ’em will pay a lot more with a VAT “fair tax”.

          1. That’s a VATO to you, esse.

      2. Why would it have to be 30%?

        1. It will initially be the rate that brings in the same revenue they’re getting now. Hopefully the sting of that bite will shock people back to their senses with government spending. and while the rich will still be paying the bulk of the taxes, everyone will bitch about them, even prebate recipients.

  11. The tax courts have already ruled that receiving incorrect tax advice from the IRS is not a defense to the imposition of a penalty for an incorrectly prepared return.

    1. I need to get job at the IRS. I’d just give out bad info all damn day long, then sit back and die from laughter.

      Scumsucking, Assfucking, Pantywaste Shitstains.

    2. citation please.

      1. Wylie, I think Yonemoto wants pictures;-)

        1. Will either a sonogram or a colonoscopy suffice?

          1. I bet you have a very special collection.

            1. Hmmm, it suddenly got brighter in here. And warmer. Must be AGW. 😉

              1. Breathe slowly.

                1. Don’t worry, my pulse and resps are fine.

                  1. I’m googling your symptoms but for some reason my firewall is blocking the diagnosis. I have a feeling you’ll recover;-)

                    1. Thanks for the concern, but I am on call and sitting in the doc lounge.

                      I doubt seriously you need to google for a differential DX. 😉

                    2. I hope you’re wearing a lab coat.:-)

                    3. Of course! I would be remiss not to.

                    4. You’ll just have to tell them that you’re happy to see them.

                    5. I’ve figured it out.

                      It’s reactive charismatic total lure.

                      I’ll need to look up the ICD-9 for that one.

    3. This reminds me of how cops and da’s expect everyone to know all laws at all times, while often being wrong about them themselves.

  12. Being a feral potato, I resorted to the free version of TurboTax? to mitigate the consequences of my pathetic economic situation. I figured I’d owe my federal overlords $540 for being a worthless spud and taking money prematurely out of my IRA (10% penalty) because I lost my job and I needed money. But thanks to TurboTax? and their sneaky and efficient accounting tricks, I only owe $288! Thanks, TurboTax?!

    1. Clearly we need to ban this turbotax thing ASAP.

    2. If you don’t have work and ain’t makin money, Forrest Gump said the gummint is growin food and makin clothes and furniture.

      I’m sure it’s for people in your situation

      1. I hear shrimpin’ can be lucrative. And I likes shrimp a whole lot. Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There’s shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich…that’s about it.

        1. Cap’n Day-un! Is that YOU?!

          1. A priest came and talked to me. He said God is listening and if I found Jesus, I’d get to walk beside him in the kingdom of Heaven. Did you hear what I said? WALK beside him in the kingdom of Heaven! Well kiss my crippled ass. God is listening? What a crock of shit.

            1. And I was a Lieutenant, Goddamn it!

              1. Unless Forrest let him be the Capt. of the shrimp boat. I haven’t seen it recently enough to remember.

                1. Lt. Dan was never a captain! Never! He was a legless nobody before I hired him, and I made him a millionaire. And what do I get for it? Abuse! Abuse and sarcasm!

      2. OK, enough with the ad nominem attacks.

        1. Go suck on your used douchebag, you effete, bag-licking oock smoker.

          1. The Jerk Store called, they said they’re all out of YOU.

            1. Weak. Very very weak.

              1. I slept with your comatose wife!

                1. Now that is just sociopathic and criminal. Apparently your psychosexual paraphilic disorder is much more manifested than your liberalism.

                  Or, more accurately, your liberal blind faith in government control is symptomatic of a deeper pathology.

                  Issues?

                2. That was actually me, Forrest, you deluded prick. And while you were “sleeping”, I was ass fucking you while wearing a sandpaper condom.

                  That’s why your ass hurts more than usual this morning.

                  Feel free to go back to your trolling, you cocksucking, anally-violated abomination.

                  1. [daubs rectal orifice with blood-soaked Kleenex while jerking off to pictures of Nancy Pelosi]

        2. It was a cute pun, though.

          It was a pun, right?

  13. I just love the H&B block commercial, where this bitch is all “i did my taxes myself AND had H&R block do them. they found another deduction, yay!”

    Meanwhile, how much time and money did she spend for that? Doing taxes twice, wtf?

    Hey, lets just mandate that taxes needed to be processed by every tax preparer available in your area. And you still have to fill out a copy yourself. And get it accepted to a peer reviewed journal.

    ..buried in peat for….you see where i’m going.

    1. I just saw that commercial yesterday. At the beginning it says her job is in human resources so I was like “Oh okay, that’s why she’s too fucking stupid to do her taxes.”

      1. I wasn’t paying attention that early in the commercial apparently. Now i realize why it’s no big deal for her to spend all that time. She just did it while at she was at work.

  14. I was beaten mercilessly on the playground as a child. Now I work for the IRS.

    1. See, this is why we need universal healthcare. These poor people would get the mental treatment they require and everyone would be spared from them becoming IRS agents.

      Brilliant.

      1. That could have a down side, depending on your point of view.

        They could get so depressed from taking the “blue pill” (and I don’t mean sildanefil) that they end up working for the DMV or some other fate worse than death.

        Or they could choose to off themselves due to the shock of being disconnected from their delirium; HCR would consider this a feature, not a bug.

    2. Nah… he’s a troll poster who works for Reason.

  15. I have a special loathing for those that make their living solely because of the federal regulation. Accountants are just above plenaria in my book.

    1. I’m am so sick of people dissing sockpupets and bacteria by comparing them to stuff that actually sucks.

      1. If it makes you feel better I will apologize to the planaria of the world, and replace their use in my sentence with the unassuming word turds.

        We okay now?

        1. Sure, until things get so bad that dissing turds becomes an insult too.

          “Hey, did turds ever throw you in jail for not buying health insurance?”

    2. planaria?

      1. wash yours?

  16. And here I thought H&R Block was the thing they did to Lonewacko.

    1. Did they block whackjob? Say it ain’t so.

      1. I dont know how they can block him. I think the douche just now posts under those no name accounts and realize no on here is going to read his shit blog.

        1. They can block posting from certain IPs if you irritate them enough.

      2. Yes, he’s banned, and yes, I caused it. BOW BEFORE ME

        1. Sorry, I worship the It’s Shake-n-Bake And I Helped girl, and let me tell you she is a jealous idol.

          1. No greater wrath than a female idol scorned.

          2. Pedo

        2. Yes, Warty:

          YOU LOOM LARGE!

          Like a tent-maker large or just tapestries and Oriental rugs?

          1. Marge: [weaving on a loom]Hi Bart, I’m weaving on a loom!
            Bart:Meh.

    2. +100 to Tulpa for being the only one to get this after 3 hours.

      God, i feel useless now.

      1. Thank you; your donation will help reduce my deficit from the cop snowball fight threads.

        1. Only another 6750pts to go.

    3. also, “H&R Block” / “H&R Blog”

      weird.

    4. That’s kind of a bummer. I mean he was a little creepy and a borderline nuisance, but IP banning for just being a dipshit seems unreasonable. If that is what happened.

      1. No, iirc he posted personal information of another poster that he had ferretted out online.

        1. Ahh, well then let the blood run. That’s not acceptable in any way shape or form.

  17. There is nothing odd about this – other than your expectation that the proles should be treated the same as the nobles. That is indeed peculiar.

    1. The prole IS noble, and thus logically must be treated the same.

      Or something.

  18. he said, speed-walking down an ornate hallway

    1. hit the correct “reply” button? neva!

    2. Speedwalking is of course an actual sport; merely walking more quickly than usual does not constitute speedwalking any more than stepping over the ropes in line at the bank qualifies as hurdles.

      1. Dammit, so much for my 50m Hurdles medal.

        1. Speedwalking is of course an actual sport

          Citation needed. 😉

  19. Random muse ….

    What if you could specify on your tax for which programs you wanted to pay for, And it would determine your eligibility to receive benfits?

    Better, what if the percentage of the population willing to pay determined issues like wars by majority vote.

    1. Sign me up. Buy the services you want, sounds like a fucking dream!

      Don’t turn in the form? You get nothing, for free! FREE! FREEDOM!

      1. How do you withhold national defense? police protection? regulatory enforcement?

        1. National defense — no protection from foreigners kidnapping you, torturing you, etc. You’re on your own there if you don’t pay up.

          Police protection — private security guard service, or thoroughly avail yourself of your Second Amendment rights.

          Regulatory enforcement — which regulations? Like the regulation that you have to buy health insurance? Government regulations on how dark of a tint you can have on car windows? Meat safety inspections?

          Most of the regulations are either counter-productive, or could be handled by private sector firms (such as a private firm that certifies that a store has safe meat handling procedures).

          Feel free to come up with something I haven’t addressed that you think would be a legitimate concern.

    2. also agree with the voting by purchase concept. true participation

    3. PS. I’ll vote for you, even if i have to move where you end up running.

    4. Alternate PS, in Candy Heart form:

      Wont you be my Mayor.

      (or is that Mr. Rogers style, w/e)

    5. Someone would find a better, cheaper way to do it and customers would migrate from Govt. That would be a bad thing (to them).

    6. I’ve advocated this many times here and elsewhere, and have been told I’m not in touch with reality for so advocating, especially regarding Social Security (see letters in most recent issue of Liberty magazine).

      Glad to see another similarly crazed person here!

  20. I hereby reintroduce the Big Muddy Plan:

    Every elected member of the federal government, plus the Secretary of the Treasury and the boss of the IRS should be required to do their own taxes by hand with only the official forms and a four function calculator to help them.

    Seriously.

    Those are the people most able to do something about the pain, so they should damn well suffer it.

    As a bonus they should definitely audit Geitner. Every year he’s in office.

    1. My God man, you’re a barbarian. At least allow them a modern RPN calculator.

    2. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Commissioner of Internal Revenue should also be required to so do the taxes of the other, without consultation. If either of the separately-computed pairs differs by more than, say, $500 — both officials must resign.

    3. I’d be really happy if Geithner paid his taxes once in awhile. We’ll work on “preparing” them after he gets used to cutting checks for awhile.

  21. Deadbeats

    Kill The Hippies

    “Kill ’em ’cause their hair’s too long… kill ’em ’cause their views were wrong!”

  22. “No. I have a tax preparer back home who’s been doing it for me for many years,” he told The Daily Caller. Becerra explains that his finances are more complex ? and his tax filings fall under far greater scrutiny ? than ordinary Americans who could figure out the forms if they tried.

    “Ordinary Americans”? If he said that, it’s time to start fondling the firearms.

  23. So does [Rep. Xavier Becerra, a top Democrat on the Ways & Means Committee] prepare his own taxes?

    “No. I have a tax preparer back home who’s been doing it for me for many years,” he told The Daily Caller. Becerra explains that his finances are more complex ? and his tax filings fall under far greater scrutiny ? than ordinary Americans who could figure out the forms if they tried.

    Oh cry me a river already.

    He oversees the rule making. If he can’t figure it out for himself he’s not qualified for the job.

    Likewise for Chairman of Ways & Means oversight subcommittee, Rep. John “I have an accountant” Lewis.

  24. LOL, gotta just love regulatory twists!

    RY
    http://www.anonymizer.us.tc

  25. What makes the tax forms difficult is in trying not to pay too much. For the most part you can start from the worst case scenario and go backward on all of the forms without too much trouble.

    What this really reveals is that the people who think everyone else doesn’t pay enough, spend good money to make sure they don’t pay a dime more tax than they have to. This is a defensible position when you aren’t huffing and puffing about the guy making 50000, who over stated his mortgage interest by 500 dollars.

    The fact that every public official you can find tries to minimize their tax liability shows the scam for what it is. They don’t give two damns about the “community”, it’s mostly just about what’s good for them.

    1. Over and over again Courts have said there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich and poor, and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands. Taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. to demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.

  26. John Galt would like the IRS to know he may be a few days late filing his 1957 tax return, he’s having a little trouble figuring out the forms.

  27. The Nike Company has been a long term player and leader in the sports shoe market for Air Jordan 13 and has been enjoying a dominating global presence even today by promoting its products through big names and sports stars. Once you have an to all these, it will surely make it easy for you to narrow down your list to the ideal store to buy as very few stores will have the combination of all the above factors.

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  28. My fellow Americans, what we have is a tax preparation crisis. The gap between short-formers and the fat cats who lounge on their baby seal skin couches eating outsourced bon bons is the largest in the developed world, and only getting larger!

    We must correct this terrible inequity in the name of social justice.

    Friends, the solution is the Universal Tax Preparation Act. It will fix our broken tax preparation system, and ensure access to tax preparation for all. This is our right as Americans, is it not?

    Please call or write your representative today.

  29. After working for several years for one of those tax prep companies, I can honestly say, most of their customers could not fill out a simple tax form. They would have 6 different employers, 4 different home addresses over the year, and 7 kids spread out among 5 guys. They thought nothing of paying an extra $200-300 in fees on top of the tax prep fee so they could get a next day loan on their EIC check. That $4000 went to pay off tattoos, jewelry and to buy that big screen they have had their eyes on since last year.

    1. My wife is currently working for the tax prep company that shall not be named and she is outraged every day about the number of clients who pay $100’s of dollars to get their refund TODAY instead of waiting a week.

      One advantage of using a tax preparer is that if you do get audited, they will help you during the process.

      It should also be noted that if the IRS gives you bad advice on filling out your tax forms, you are still liable if audited. You can’t use “I asked you what to do and you said do A” as a defense.

    2. I imagine that a lot of these people do qualify for the EITC, which is really friggin complicated. Since a lot of tax breaks are aimed at low to mid incomes, their taxes are probably more complicated than most.

      1. This is so true. The simple form doesn’t seem to have much use outside teens working the drive-thru. If you’re self-employed or on the dole, you have a book of papers that quickly begins to match the fat cats.

  30. I’d grudgingly accept all of the social emgineering and economy fine tuning embedded in our byzantine tax code if just half of it accomplished the stated objectives.

    Since the success rate is dwarfed by the counterproductive failure rate, I just can’t.

    If a politician wants to get me excited about his or her campaign, a complete rewrite of the nation’s tax code that jettisons all* the favors, incentives and punishments in it would do it. If the rewrite actually increased revenue (boo!) 5%, it would still be a win for justice, sanity and the overall economy. The shackles removed from entrepreneurship and the removal of perverse incentives would more than make up for the small increase in the federal bite.

    * That includes, but is not limited to, home mortgage writeoffs, dependent deductions, health insurance …

    Yeah, one of your oxen would get gored.

    1. I would gladly give up one of my oxen.

      As it is, they are BOTH sitting on the sidelines, laughing into their hooves, witnessing ME strapped into the plow by those “honorable” motherfuckers in Congress.

  31. a complete rewrite of the nation’s tax code that jettisons all* the favors, incentives and punishments in it would do it. If the rewrite actually increased revenue (boo!) 5%, it would still be a win for justice, sanity and the overall economy. The shackles removed from entrepreneurship and the removal of perverse incentives would more than make up for the small increase in the federal bite.

    I’m in.

  32. If a politician wants to get me excited about his or her campaign, a complete rewrite of the nation’s tax code that jettisons all* the favors, incentives and punishments in it would do it.”

    What you propose makes too much sense J sub D! That alone invalidates it to the progressive mindset. Why, how could they exert control on the populance, manipulate the labor market, bribe, and send pork barrel to the district?

    Why, it would be madness!

  33. Is this the weekend thread? Proceeding as if it is –

    Arizona lawmakers must now find a way to maintain insurance coverage for 350,000 children and adults that they slashed just last week to help close a $2.6 billion budget deficit.

    Louisiana officials say a reduction in federal money to hospitals that treat the uninsured under the bill could be a death knell for their state-run charity hospital system.

    In California, policymakers estimate they will have to come up with an additional $500 million a year to make necessary increases in payments to Medicaid providers.

  34. Oops! Here’s the NYT link the above came from.

    I wonder how their delegation to DC voted on the toxic sausage that is the HCR bill.

    1. Arizona: 3 ayes, 6 nays. 1 aye came from the rural county I live in and the other 2 from City based districts.

      1. Does the rural county have a large reservation in it? Usually, the more sparsely settled the area, the less statist-leaning.

        The Neighbor Islands for Hawaii are a prominent exception to this general rule.

  35. Likewise, J sub: This came to me this morning.

    I just discovered that I, and I alone have the power to stop this runaway Administration and Congress in its tracks! The nice guv’mint lady on the telemavision told me. She was talking about the census, then she looked me square in the eye and said “We can’t go forward if you don’t mail it back.”

    Now, I was going to sit on my census form for as long as legally possible as a mild form of civil disobedience anyway.

    But to think I could stop all this madness by just shredding it? FEEL MY POWER!! (Go on, feel it…it’s OK)

    1. Show me on the little doll where KFP made you “feel the power”.

  36. If you skip the op-ed pages, the NYT really is a good newspaper.
    Obama’s Second T.S.A. Nominee Withdraws

    General Harding’s bid came unraveled after reports that his firm collected more federal money than it was entitled to for providing interrogators in Iraq.

    In a statement, General Harding said, “I felt that I could bring some leadership, vision and intelligence expertise” to the post. “However, I feel that the distractions caused by my work as a defense contractor would not be good for this administration nor for the Department of Homeland Security.”

    The president’s first nominee, Erroll G. Southers, a former F.B.I. agent and counterterrorism supervisor for the Los Angeles airport police, withdrew his nomination in January after giving conflicting answers about conducting police background checks on a man his estranged wife was seeing.

    Let’s sum up those three little paragraphs, shall we?
    The first TSA nominee withdrew because of allegations he had no respect for other’s privacy and broke related laws law while stalking his estranged wife.

    The second TSA nominee, a former defense contractor,* withdrew under allegations that he stole money from the government “providing interrogators”** in Iraq.

    * Why bother to hire lobbyists when you can hire the contractor directly?

    ** This does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling about this guys respects for human rights, much less civil ones.

  37. The first TSA nominee withdrew because of allegations he had no respect for other’s privacy and broke related laws law while stalking his estranged wife.

    Given the type of job for which he was being considered, one might think this would be a pre-req, or at least a bonus to his vitae.

    1. It makes the government uncomfortable not to have at least some deniability.

  38. To be fair to the IRS commissioner, he has very little power to make the tax code simpler. The tax code is written by Congress. Sure the IRS writes the regulations, but those are pretty much just to fill in the holes and correct mistakes made by Congress. If anything, those regs make it easier by taking some of the ambiguity out of the statutes.

    1. To be fair to the IRS commissioner, he has very little power to make the tax code simpler.

      I’m wet with compassion.

    2. 1. Congress calls him in to ask his opinion, so he should be able to give one from experience

      2. He does have considerable influence on the organizational culture which will be used in enforcing the rules

      3. It’s symbolic.

  39. Were I suspicious man, I might think some of the posters are worried that their some or their deductions might not be completely kosher.

    (I must admit that with my finances the opportunity cost of expending time and effort on tax avoidance outweighs the benefit. There is nothing inherently wrong with avoiding taxes, I just don’t find it worth my time.)

    1. I find that using TurboTax doesn’t leave a lot of discretion about how to file. The difficulty is trying to figure out WTF they’re asking for sometimes, but deductions are deductions, and pay is pay.

      1. Mrs. Apostate does our 1040, etc. by hand. This year she missed Schedule M (who knew?) and the IRS very kindly caught the mistake and sent us a check.

        I agree, therefore, that the tax system is way too complicated but I don’t have a problem with progressive taxes, per se. By the very nature of things, rich people benefit more from the stability provided by courts, police, defense and even welfare (can’t have the masses rioting and striking too much) than the hoi polloi.

        1. You are in the wrong office. Media Matters is down the hall.

          1. Yes, G-d forbid people of differing political views should have a civil discussion.

            We should rather shout each other down and harden attitudes by insulting each other.

  40. Sounds like extortion. Besides, its a bit of a stretch to say that “stability” is the concept which first fires through the syapses upon hearing or reading “courts” and “police”-I’ll buy “extrotion racket” and “cesspool” and “mayhem” and “murder” and “ineffeciency” and ” the hackerama” – you know, real, actual stuff.

    1. That’s a mighty optimistic attitude you’ve got there.

      Sorry, but I cannot agree that America is a cesspool full of mayhem and murder and that all courts and police here are corrupt.

  41. IRS = terrorists.

  42. I was beaten mercilessly on the playground as a child. Now I work for the IRS.
    http://www.christianlouboutinvips.com

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