If IRS Agents Horrify Their Own Families, Maybe They're Doing it Wrong

It's so hard to be a tax collector. They should quit.


Matthew G Bisanz

Apparently missing the point that most Americans don't want what tax collectors have to sell, Internal Revenue Service bureaucrats and the heads of unions representing its crack cash-extractors are campaigning right now to shake more money and staff loose from Congress. And also to get the public to feel sorry for them, though that seems like a hell of a stretch. So you'll be seeing a continuing stream of news stories about how hard it is to work for the IRS.

One of those pieces, by Bloomberg's Devin Leonard and Richard Rubin, perhaps unwittingly illustrates why this all may be a bit of an uphill slog. It notes, in part:

Whether they worked in Manhattan or Peoria, IRS veterans talk about something else that kept them at the service: the feeling of camaraderie. It was nice that they appreciated one another, because nobody else did. "You go to a party, and if you say you are from the IRS, half the people move into the other room," says Richard Schickel, a former senior collections officer in Tucson who retired in December 2013. "After a while, your wife and relatives get tired of listening to your stories. They say, 'How could you take those people's houses and their businesses?' The only place you get understanding is with other IRS people."

You know…When the people who live with you and (let's assume) love you recoil from you in shock and horror because of your behavior so that the only refuge you can find is among others guilty of the same conduct, perhaps you should consider the possibility that you're doing something really bad.

Just sayin'. It's a thought.

Schickel, the fellow quoted above of horrified wife and relatives note, may well have taken that insight to heart. He currently runs a tax consulting service. On its website, he offers this bit of advice: "The IRS is the most dangerous creditor in the world. The IRS can seize your cash, bank accounts, autos, business and most of your wages—all without ever once going to Court or getting a formal judgment. Learn how to stop the IRS before they stop you."

So…Why is it again that Americans are hesitant to hand the IRS more funding and enforcers? Explain it to me slow, cuz I'm stumped…

Anyway, the whole piece is worth reading.

Oh, and to add to the reasons I love Arizona:

Schickel says the political attacks made his job more difficult and potentially more dangerous. Throughout his career, he dealt with antigovernment tax avoiders in Arizona, but once the Tea Party scandal broke, his encounters with otherwise law-abiding ranchers became more hostile. "I used to work Tombstone," he says. "They hate the IRS down there. It's a hard enough thing to drive out, bang on somebody's door, and make a legal demand on them for money. It's even harder when the person is wearing a gun on his hip and says, 'I saw on TV that you people are discriminating against the Tea Party.' That's when I decided, the hell with this!"

It sounds just awful! I say those sad, beleaguered tax collectors should walk off the job.