Our Friendly Internal Revenue 'Service'

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Each calendar
quarter, the IRS and Social Security Administration jointly publish
“Reporter,” subtitled “A Newsletter for Employers.” It’s always
chock full of tidbits of congenial information — new regulations
and so forth — and in the current
edition
, there’s an especially interesting article entitled
“Reducing the Tax Gap, a Strategic Priority for the IRS.” Quoting
directly from the source:

“The tax gap
— it's the difference between the amount individual taxpayers and
businesses should pay and what is actually paid. The IRS estimates
that the overall tax gap for all types of tax is approximately $345
billion. Approximately one-third of the tax gap relates to the amount
businesses and employers owe.”

Translation
(as if you really need it): The government has decreed that its
citizens should pay many billions of dollars more in taxes than
they want to pay.

“To reduce
the tax gap, the IRS has developed a simple ‘working equation’ —
service plus enforcement equals compliance. Not service OR enforcement,
but service AND enforcement.”

Translation:
Service (uncontrolled government bureaucracy) plus enforcement (cajoling,
intimidating, threatening, suing, seizing your property, bringing
criminal charges and/or invading your home with guns drawn) equals
compliance (acquiescence to the theft of your property).

“Service means
helping people and businesses understand their tax obligations and
making it easier for them to participate in the tax system.”

Translation:
We are nice people. We will help you understand your duty to give
us money. We will make it easy for you to give us money, whether
you like it or not. We are your friends. Smile.

Weblinks to
eight “educational” fact sheets follow, such as “Home Office Deduction
Reminders” and “Depreciation Reminders,” then the really good news:
the IRS has “strengthened its enforcement programs over the past
few years.” The highlights include:

  • Individual
    audits have almost doubled since 2000
  • The IRS
    had 2.7 million levies in 2006 vs. 220,000 in 2000

We should all
feel warm and fuzzy (shouldn’t we?), knowing that our friendly IRS
has expanded its reach, auditing twice as many folks last year as
they did six years ago. We should feel positively giddy that it
has secured levies against ten times more people — obviously
unpatriotic ne’er-do-wells who resist having their money taken to
fund our glorious foreign wars, the health care of strangers, or
whatever else Uncle Sam finds appropriate.

More good news:
the article lists five legislative proposals designed to “reduce
the tax gap and improve tax administration,” all introduced to Congress
by the ultimate man of the people, President Bush himself. This
will surely serve to endear him to his subjects even further, and
increase the likelihood of ever more good work from the Internal
Revenue Service. What a great Service! I love being Serviced! We
all love being Serviced! Long live the Service!

April
18, 2007

Andrew
S. Fischer has worked in various fields.

Andrew
S. Fischer

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