Something for procrastinators to think about while doing your taxes this weekend

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

You have all heard the Tea-Publican mantra repeated ad nauseam: "We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem." This of course is a lie.

They don't want you looking at corporate and wealthy tax cheaters who do not pay taxes. They want you to blame the poor and those receiving government assistance. (By the way, retirees receiving Medicare benefits are the new "welfare queens" in Tea-Publican rhetoric).

So for you procrastinators working on your taxes this weekend, here is something to think about that should cause you to vent your anger towards these Tea-Publicans. Huffington Post reports IRS Funding Cut Days Before Report Shows $330 Billion In Uncollected Taxes:

As part of the budget deal hashed out [last] Friday evening, lawmakers agreed that no additional federal funds would be used to hire new IRS agents.

Then on Monday, the Government Accountability Office publicly released a study showing that, as of the end of fiscal year 2010, roughly $330 billion in federal taxes had never been paidan amount that, if collected, would represent nearly nine times the amount of savings as the budget itself.

The dual developments aren’t shocking. Despite evidence that a single dollar spent on enforcing the tax code could result in up to ten dollars in revenue, politicians, naturally, are reluctant to align themselves with tax collectors.

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“Cutting back on IRS enforcement could easily cost the treasury much more in revenue than it saves,” said Chuck Marr, Director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The GAO report titled “Federal Tax Collection: Potential for Using Passport Issuance to Increase Collection of Unpaid Taxes,” the study labels poor enforcement of tax laws and the tax code as a “high-risk” hole in government policy. In fiscal year 2008, passports were issued to about 16 million individuals. Of those, more than 224,000 owed more than $5.8 billion in unpaid federal taxes.

Monopolyb A good chunk of the evasion, the GAO concluded, was committed by individuals with “substantial personal assets” including multi-million-dollar homes and “luxury cars.” One passport recipient bought a house for $2 million and another property for $1.5 million despite owing $1 million in federal taxes.

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“If you look, you can find records of most capital gains income,” said Rob Shapiro, former U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce. “People deposit it in their bank accounts or the institutions may issue reports if it is capital gains on stock transactions. So it is not hard to pick it up if you have the manpower to look for it. And again, given that the salary of an IRS agent is at least as high as the average salary in America, the fact that there is a ten-to-one ratio for the returns on auditing tells you that [tax evasion] is coming from the high-income brackets.”

[T]he GAO concludes that “IRS enforcement of federal tax laws is vital,” not just to pinpoint the offenders but to promote “broader compliance.” And what do the study’s authors cite as a compelling reason to beef up IRS functions? A “federal deficit” that “continue[s] to mount.”

Indeed, several close observers of the budget debate have wondered exactly how lawmakers can shudder at going after tax evasion while simultaneously preaching fiscal responsibility on the stump.

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“Hiring more IRS agents would have allowed the Obama administration to enforce its agenda, insofar as its agenda is to make sure that people don't cheat on their taxes,” wrote Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic.

So while you procrastinators are stressing over completing your taxes this weekend, constructively channel your anger at Tea-Publicans who are protecting corporations and wealthy Americans who are tax evaders and who are being subsidized by your payment of taxes.

0 responses to “Something for procrastinators to think about while doing your taxes this weekend

  1. (By the way, retirees receiving Medicare benefits are the new “welfare queens” in Tea-Publican rhetoric).

    I find it comical (satirical) that the vast majority of the Tea Party (not a real Party), the rally attendees are over 55. The “plan” is now to destroy Medicare for those 55 and under.

    This country’s only revenue is taxes. Collect less (tax cuts, tax cheats) and you have deficits. We have been doing this off and on for 30 years – steadily for nearly 10 years. There is no spending problem, there is a revenue problem. Cut the waste, failed policies (many of both: tax cuts, tax loopholes and trickle-down) and revenues increase and deficits diminish.

    There is so much waste and abuse in Medicare for the past decades, if Tea-publicans are SERIOUS about reforming, start it NOW. I think the support (IE: Tea-publican base) would be vastly different.