Are you irritable? Sleeping less? Impatient with your friends? Putting on weight? Thinking about divorce? Yes? Sorry to hear, you must be going through a stressful time. Oh, wait, are you an American? Yes?! Whew, you're behaving normally then. If you were to read this AICPA press release, you might be inclined to believe that […]
Easton, Massachusetts resident Michael Freese recently discovered that the town’s meal tax cost him an extra 4¢ on his $5.75 hamburger, reports the Enterprise News. Freese was under the impression that only “New York and Seattle and California had that.”
While Freese is probably aware that this extra 4¢ would get him 80% closer to a Hershey Bar when he was growing up, he can also take comfort that in this day and age it will get IRS Agents off your back. [Enterprise News]
Amiright? Apparently, this guy in Sarasota, Florida was just messing with everyone but, of course, that still doesn’t go over very well with the local authorities.
“About 11:45 a.m. a 59-year-old man walked into the center with a briefcase and a box,” said Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Paul Richard. “He placed it on what’s been described to me as a counter top and told personnel there that he had a bomb,” Richard said. IRS security personnel at the office managed to subdue the man and then hand him over to deputies. The office houses 60 employees, who were evacuated during the episode. The sheriff’s office bomb squad later confirmed there was no explosive or destructive device in either the box or the briefcase.
It’s been far too long since we’ve heard about violent and/or completely irrational behavior as it relates to taxes, hasn’t it?
Thank God for Ohio, where bulldozers are commonly used to show disdain for pretty much anything. This time it’s firearms.
Police said a man opened fire on a woman after she apparently made a mistake on his taxes. Officers said the man threatened to get revenge on the H & R Block employee because he was audited by the IRS. Dayton police said they [sic] shooter fired several shots into the tax worker’s car. However, she managed to dodge the bullets.
There are lots of things that might conjure up murderous rage but a mistake on a tax return prepared by a H&R Block employee? The good news is that this lunatic is still on the loose somewhere.
Police: Shots Fired At Tax Worker [WHIOTV]
Lehman Channeled Risks Through ‘Alter Ego’ Firm [NYT]
That alter-ego firm is Hudson Capital and the Times reports that while HC “appeared to be an independent business, it was deeply entwined with Lehman,” citing a Board of Directors controlled by the bank, Lehman’s 25% ownership, and many former LEH employees working at HC. Hudson reportedly provided LEH with financing “while preventing ‘headline risk’,” but the relationship was designed specifically to maximize the utility of Hudson “without jeopardizing the off-balance sheet accounting treatment,” according to memo cited by the Times.
Deloitte To Spend More Money In China For Business Expansion [Dow Jones]
Deloitte is investing $100 million in China over the next three to five years, hiring 1,000 to 2,000 new employees per year, per Global CEO Jim Quigley and Deloitte China CEO Christopher Lu. This follows a five-year, $150 million investment by the firm announced in 2004.
Quigely told Dow Jones, “When I have made my investment decisions as the CEO of Deloitte, the market where we are investing the most is in China. We’ve now expanded. So another $100 million is coming this direction as we continue to want to grow our business here, and take advantage of the opportunities available to serve China companies and to serve companies outside of China who want to invest here.”
66% Say America Is Overtaxed [Rasmussen via TaxProf]
If you needed a poll that shows that Americans hate taxes in order to convince you, Rasumussen is all over it. 66% of people surveyed believe Amecians are overtaxed, as opposed to 25% who disagree. The issue is severely divided politically with 81% of Republicans believing they are overtaxed as opposed to Democrats who were split on the issue. 73% of those surveyed that did not affiliate with either party believe they are overtaxed while 96% of the Tea Party movement believe they are overtaxed.
In case you’re illiterate or generally ignorant about the reputation of our government, you know that there’s a ginormous deficit that our Congressional representatives like to crow about ad nauseam. And because squawking will only get you so many votes, many in Congress have decided that tasking the IRS (and thus setting up an easy scapegoat) with scraping together more revenues.
Accordingly, the IRS is not only hassling people for their milk money but they are also ramping up the number of audits of wealthy individuals.
The Journal warns us about this increasing number of financial DREs, noting that many rubes get the notice in the mail, freak the hell out and cut a check to the Treasury. However, if you’ve got a solid case against the Service or balls of concrete, than there are some tips that you would be wise to heed:
“Hire the wrong tax preparer” – If your tax pro had the unfortunate luck to get swept up in Operation Brass Tax, then you’re obviously in bad shape. If you’ve got the means, don’t cheap out on the Mom & Pop (sorry Moms and Pops out there) tax prep shop and find a qualified CPA, attorney or enrolled agent to guide you through this nightmare.
“The Ostrich approach” – The strategy of simply ignoring the IRS will work about as well as bulldozing your house.
“Automatic Surrender” – You may be surprised to learn that the IRS is not the omnipotent federal agency that it may implicitly claim to be in its letter. Long story short, don’t just take them at their word, unless you’re the type that wants to pay more taxes.
Of course there are several other strategies that the Journal omits that you should want to avoid, including:
Violent Retaliation – No one wins here.
Claiming to be a celebrity – Fame has yet to prove an effective deterrent to IRS nagging.
Cry about it – The IRS, while sympathetic, will not be swayed by tears.
While everything listed above is tempting, we advise getting professional help and it probably won’t hurt to keep the proceedings cordial.
How to Fight the IRS [WSJ]
Considering the tone of Joe Stack’s manifesto, you’d think common courtesy would have been abandoned ages ago. Not necessarily so:
Perhaps it was a more sinister “have a great day” than we’re imagining, although the jig would have been up if he had given any indication about his plans (e.g. read the manifesto to air traffic control).
The Tea Partiers (not to be confused with tax protestors who are way more delusional) have made their names known all across this great land for hating on taxes. They’ve marched pretty much everywhere but do you know where they haven’t marched? On the Internet! That’s right, nothing like a virtual march with politicians up for reelection joining the cause (can’t be seen with those nutjobs in person).
The “march” will occur on, you guessed it, April 15th and it will occur “in” Washington DC.
Some of the other cartoon leaders that will be in “attendance” are
• Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey
• Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
• Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist
• Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
• Michael Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan
• The Tea Party Express – A red bus.
We have to admit that we’re impressed with this risky move by this group that we would otherwise shun a technological feat of this magnitude. Does anyone think that Dick Armey or John McCain even knows what an avatar is? What lucky member of their respective staffs got the responsibility of creating those?
This is especially fun for the tea p’s because since this particular march is virtual, it is likely that certain actions and/or methods that the tax haters could only dream of before, will now be allowed. These may include but not limited to:
• Leaving flaming bags of shit on White House’s front steps.
• Protestors showing “video” of President Obama walking around wearing a Sandwich Board saying “I love taxes.”
• Resurrecting the Founding Fathers (zombie TJ!) to get their testimonials about how the Obama Administration is ruining America.
• Portray Nancy Pelosi giving a speech on the Capitol steps in one of those olive-colored Castro outfits.
• Bring Ronald Reagan back to life, just because.
• Other portrayals of “taxation without representation” taken wildly out of context.
All we ask is that you keep it non-violent. Tea p’s that aren’t too good with them computers need not worry though, actual marches will be held around the country on April 15th where you’ll be allowed to shout, march and carry signs with plenty of misspelled words.
Okay, so the past few weeks we’ve seen some psychotic behavior as it pertains to IRS. And yesterday, someone’s llelo (yes, it’s Utah, but that’s the best we’ve got right now) was mistaken for Anthrax and it caused the FBI and Hazmat to storm the building and leave with bodies wrapped up like mummies. If you’re getting worried that people might be freaking out, you’ve got some solid evidence in your corner.
The good news is that not everyone who hates the IRS with every fiber of their being is so cold that they’ll fly a plane into a building, shoot a gun at their spouse or destroy the very home they live in.
Michelle Lowry knows first-hand how much people hate the Internal Revenue Service.
The 37-year-old Leander woman, who processes forms for the IRS in Austin, confronts that venom regularly. People slip razor blades and pushpins into the same envelopes as their W-2 forms. They send nasty notes with their crumpled documents. Last year during the height of the Tea Party movement, hundreds of taxpayers included — what else? — tea bags with their returns.
See? It is possible to show hatred for the IRS without trying to killing someone or destroying your own property. Let’s try thinking things through before we start going completely batshit insane, shall we?
Passive-aggressive protest seems like a more modern way of showing contempt for the government anyway.
Threats, contempt come with job for IRS workers [Austin American-Statesman]
We thought that Glenn Beck had flipped his lid again but unfortch, it’s just some other person complaining about taxes:
A daylong hostage standoff ended late Wednesday when an armed, disabled man wheeled himself out of a post office in Wytheville, Virginia, and was taken into custody, police said.
The alleged gunman, identified by police as Warren “Gator” Taylor, 53, of Sullivan County, Tennessee, surrendered in a wheelchair, said Wythe County Sherrif’s Office Chief Deputy Keith Dunagan. All three hostages walked out without injury.
He asked for a pizza but made no other demands, [the police] said. He seemed neither angry nor disgruntled but did utter complaints about government and taxes…When the supreme pizza that police ordered was more than half an hour late, Taylor joked that Pizza Hut promises delivery in less than half an hour or the food is free.