Brickbat: I Don't Want to Go on the Cart


"Monty Python and the Holy Grail"

Siegfried Meinstein has been dead since April, and he's not happy about it. The IRS declared him dead last year when he tried to file his taxes, and despite the best efforts of himself and his family, the agency refuses to acknowledge he's still alive. The IRS blames the problem on the Social Security Administration, but the SSA, though it mistakenly declares about 1,000 people dead every month, refuses to take the blame for this one, saying it has always shown Meinstein as alive.

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  1. though it mistakenly declares about 1,000 people dead every month

    To lose one person, SSA, may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose 1,000 looks like carelessness.

    1. It balances the books by continuing to send checks to people who have actually died.

    2. To have one man declared dead is a tragedy. To have 1,000 men declared dead is a statistic.

    3. Either that or there’s a lot of octogenarian Jason Bourne’s running around

  2. The IRS/Obamacare death panels claim their first victim.

    1. And they still managed to botch the job

  3. I would pay good money to have the IRS write me out of their files as deceased. What’s this guy’s problem?

    1. My guess is that he just wants to do the right thing/be a good citizen. Most of the individuals of his generation that I know or remember have/hadd rather strong ethics.

      1. Clearly, if he’s dead, then he can’t earn income, and thus has no tax liability, and thus isn’t required to file taxes.

        I’d file the letter from the IRS saying I’m dead, minimize withholding, and stop filing taxes, and if they come after me, send them a copy of the letter saying you’re dead.

        This may be about him wanting to claim Social Security, though, since at a certain age that money exceeds federal taxes.

        1. The real problem is that according to the EPA’s new rules, if you are dead you are not allowed to emit CO2.

        2. I’d file the letter from the IRS saying I’m dead, minimize withholding, and stop filing taxes, and if they come after me, send them a copy of the letter saying you’re dead.

          Taking it further, post threats on social media, and if they come after you, send them a copy of the letter saying you’re dead.

      2. Interesting choice of words there, doing the right thing, being a good citizen, having strong ethics.

        Interesting because my first thought on seeing a guy named Siegfried Meinstein being described as a WWII vet was “Is he a United States military vet, though?” There are, after all, plenty of WWII vets in Germany and Japan and I’m sure many of them think subservience to the government is doing the right thing, being a good citizen, having strong ethics. Here in America, maybe not so much if you’re a Good American.

        1. The words are appropriate to the individuals I was thinking of at the time.

          The article described him as a “German-born World War II vet” (and included some physical descriptions).
          I think his not being a United States citizen would have been included

    2. Oh, its not that simple.

      See, being dead doesn’t protect you from tax liability, if you earn money while deceased the government wants its share.

      It does prevent you from paying off that liability however.

      So now you’re in the situation with half the IRS threatening to put you in jail (there’s no rule saying a dead guy can’t go to jail) and the other half saying that they can’t process your payment because ‘the computer says no’.

      And simply opening up new file won’t help because that only deals with *new* income. The tax owed on *old* income still won’t be processed because ‘the computer says no’.

      Oh, and expect your creditors to use this as an excuse to try to liquidate your estate.

    3. Will you still that way when all your property has been auctioned off because it was abandoned when the owner died?

  4. If he provides all the necessary ID’s and forms and such, who are the IRS to deny it?

    Man, your IRS is WWAAAAAYYYY too powerful….and creepy. It seems anyway.

  5. Perhaps they don’t want to admit having made a mistake.

    And yes, Rufus, the I.R.S. has been invested with too much power. They even have their own law enforcement arm:…..agent.html

    1. NPR had some sob story a week or so ago about some whistleblower that got fired/walked out. She worked in the IG office of some agency and the intro made a big point about how she wore a gun and badge to work. She was an auditor reviewing grants and funding to state programs.

      1. That’s nuts. I wonder if it’s an over reaction from the government or Americans are more likely to threaten the tax collector (which would make them normal as people have always rebelled against the taxman throughout history) than, say, we Canadians?

        1. Its not an over-reaction, its a rational response to the incentives.

          Law enforcement officers of any agency get paid more and get better benefits.

          You can increase the pay and benefits (while increasing your budget and power) simply by converting a larger and larger percentage of your workforce into law enforcement ‘agents’. Who do the exact same work they’ve always done by are now legally allowed to carry a gun and write tickets.

          1. Then America has issues to deal with. Arming the EPA and IRS is ludicrous and ferments a division between they and the people. AND IT’S THEIR CHOICE.


  6. Oh – excellent picture choice, Mr. Oliver.

    1. He’s getting better.

  7. On the upside, though, he now gets to vote!

  8. Poor Doc Daneeka.

      1. “I’m right here!”

        It’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie* because after a few calls for Doc to jump the Doc even starts telling himself to jump out of the plane he’s not in.

        *Except for the part where Hungry Joe gets bisected, that is.

    1. “Poor Doc Daneeka.”


  9. The IRS doesn’t want to spend a lot of time clearing this up, only to have to go through more hassle once he dies for real.

    1. “In the long run, we’re all dead.”

  10. Next he will turn into a giant roach.

  11. See, if the irs ever tries to audit him, his lawyers will eat them alive. This is a godsend.

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