DC Misc 3
Cruel and Usual
Tax collection including a link to a song by DC on the subject.
I had an interesting experience recently with the California State Franchise Tax Board. I still owed them money from my 2000 taxes resulting from a careless mistake. I'd made payments on it through the years when I could and had a new agreement to make a monthly payment. But they found I was a co-signer on my mother's account in Fort Worth and took $4100 (3/4 of it penalties and interest) from it we just discovered. It's okay. Mother had just died so it didn't really hurt anything. It did occur to me though that I was just a co-signer on her account so I could help her out in her old age and while she was in a nursing home and hospice care. There was no process to collect. They could just take it. Any other entity would have to go through some legal steps to get the money. There must be many instances where people become co-signers to help out others who get their life savings taken by heartless and unregulated tax collecting.
Warren, who's helping out here at home, said that he signed something once for a company he was working for - because one of the owners wasn't there - and years later had the IRS attach his wages for taxes that company owed when it went bankrupt. Nothing he could do. And when he showed an agent they'd taken too much the agent agreed but said he'd used the wrong form so he couldn't get it back.
The IRS has been in the news recently because they were giving a hard time to Tea Party groups that wanted non profit status because they were claiming they were mainly doing social service, the IRS giving them an especially hard time. It's being talked about as if only right wing groups were targeted but there were other groups critical of the government who were also given a hard time. There were safeguards to prevent prejudiced targeting but they were eliminated in budget cutting. Anyway, that's what I've understood by glancing at this news.
Tax collecting and tax policy abuses are nothing new. The policy is set by the lawmakers who tend to serve the rich, the big guys (Elin was audited twice when she was a poor college student). The collectors seem to do whatever they can get away with. We need a fair, regulated tax system that doesn't favor the rich and powerful, a system in which tax collectors can't be cruel and abuse people.
To repeat, the song on this subject is Pigfuckers