Obama’s Treasury Seizing Tax Refunds From Adult Children To Pay Parents’ Social Security Debts

Shakedown: Treasury Now Seizing Tax Refunds From Adult Children To Pay Parents’ Decades-Old Social Security Debts – Hot Air

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When I say “debts,” I don’t mean loans that the parents willingly sought from SSA. It would be bad enough to hold a kid responsible for that (since when are children responsible for their parents’ obligations?), but at least it would have been voluntarily incurred by mom/dad. The “debts” here are overpayments of Social Security benefits, the product of SSA’s own errors. The parents who received them might not have even realized they were getting money they weren’t supposed to have. And now, somehow, it’s junior’s problem.

But wait. It gets worse.

When [Mary] Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family – it’s not sure who – in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery…

“It was a shock,” said Grice, 58. “What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can’t prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus.”…

Social Security officials told Grice that six people – Grice, her four siblings and her father’s first wife, whom she never knew – had received benefits under her father’s account. The government doesn’t look into exactly who got the overpayment; the policy is to seek compensation from the oldest sibling and work down through the family until the debt is paid.

SSA insists that they did send notice – to a P.O. Box that Grice hasn’t owned for 35 years, even though they have her current address.

How can they demand restitution for a mistaken payment made in the late 1970s, let alone from someone who didn’t even receive it? Because: The farm bill that passed in 2011 lifted the 10-year statute of limitations on debts owed to the feds. Treasury has collected more than $400 million since then on very old obligations, many of them below the radar of public scrutiny because the amounts are often small enough, i.e. a few hundred dollars, that the targets find it’s cheaper to pay up than to fight. It’s a shakedown, based on the flawed assumption that a child not only must have benefited from the overpayment to his parent but that he/she received the entirety of the benefit, with little proof offered that the debt even exists. (One man who was forced to pay demanded a receipt from SSA affirming that his balance was now zero. The SSA clerk told him he’d put in the request but that the man shouldn’t expect to receive anything.) The only reason you’re hearing about Grice’s case, I think, is because they went after her for thousands, not hundreds, of dollars, which was enough of a hit to make her get a lawyer. Turns out that the feds had seized and then continued to hold her federal and state refunds, an amount greater than $4,400 – even though they were only demanding $2,996 from her to pay off her father’s debt. Lo and behold, once WaPo found out and started asking questions, the $1,400 excess was promptly returned to her. Amazing how fast bureaucracy can move when someone looks behind the curtain.

The whole thing is Kafkaesque – opaque, oppressive, arbitrary, and sinister in its indifference to making sure the right person pays so long as someone does. After reading the story, it’s not obvious to me what’s stopping Treasury from demanding a payment from every taxpayer whose parents are dead. If the chief witnesses are gone and the feds don’t have to prove that a child actually received any benefits from overpayment, the only “check” on this process is SSA’s willingness to tell the truth about who owes them money and how much. You trust them, don’t you?

Exit question from Karl: Isn’t holding children responsible for their parents’ retirement debts the governing model of the Democratic Party?

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Leftist Nightmare Update: 33,000 Jobs Lost Due To Obamacare’s Medical Device Tax

Study: 33,000 Jobs Impacted Due To Obamacare’s Medical Device Tax – WNEW

A new study reveals that nearly 33,000 jobs have been impacted due to the Affordable Care Act’s medical device excise tax.

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The report comes from the Advanced Medical Technology Association following an online survey of member companies last year.

“According to the report, the tax has led to employment reductions of approximately 14,000 industry workers and foregone hiring of 19,000 workers,” the study stated. “The total job impact of the tax on industry employment was approximately 33,000.”

Stephen J. Ubl, CEO of AdvaMed, said this tax needs to be repealed.

“During a time when there is bipartisan support for growing high-technology manufacturing jobs, these results should serve as a wake-up call. As a result of the medical device tax, we have seen an unprecedented impact on jobs and key investments in R&D (research and development),” Ubl said. “The findings of the report underscore the need to repeal this tax.”

Unified in their opposition to Obamacare, Republicans have been relentless in focusing on its problems, from complaints of canceled policies to higher insurance premiums and President Barack Obama’s unilateral decision to delay for two years the requirement that small businesses cover employees.

The GOP effort has intensified this election year as Republicans look to capitalize on dissatisfaction with the law, turning voter dismay into November victories. The ill effect of Obamacare is the GOP’s constant refrain.

Nearly 3.3 million Americans have enrolled through the federal and state marketplaces as the federal online site worked out the problems of its disastrous rollout, a recent sign of promise for the 4-year-old law.

A silver lining for Democrats in the recent enrollment numbers is the actual sign-ups exceeding projected totals in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan and Colorado, according to the January figures. Three of those states have Senate Democrats who voted for the law and now face re-election – Kay Hagan in North Carolina, Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire and Mark Udall in Colorado.

In the next eight months before the election, Republicans who call the shots in the House will cast a harsh spotlight on the law through hearings and narrowly focused legislation designed to divide Democrats. The GOP has done it this year with bills requiring the Obama administration to report weekly on how many Americans have signed up for health care coverage and a measure bolting new security requirements on the law.

One bill drew the support of 33 Democrats; the other attracted 67 Democrats who bucked the administration.

Last year, House Republicans voted more than 40 times to repeal, replace or gut the law, and strong GOP opposition to Obamacare precipitated the 16-day partial government shutdown last fall that was a political blow to Republicans.

Since recovered, Republicans say privately they are unlikely to push for full repeal in light of the law’s popular elements, such as insurance for individuals even with an existing condition and allowing children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. Also, Republicans have been unable to unify around an alternative to health care plan.

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IRS Issued $4 Billion In Fraudulent Tax Refunds To Identity Thieves

Report: IRS Refunded $4B To Identity Thieves – Big Government

The Internal Revenue Service issued $4 billion in fraudulent tax refunds last year to people using stolen identities, with some of the money going to addresses in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Ireland, according to an inspector general’s report released Thursday.

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The IRS sent a total of 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and 343 refunds went to a lone address in Shanghai.

In the U.S., more fraudulent returns went to Miami than any other city. Other top destinations were Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta and Houston.

The IRS has stepped up efforts to fight identity theft, but thieves are getting more aggressive, said the report by J. Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration. Last year, the IRS stopped more than $12 billion in fraudulent refunds from going to identity thieves, compared with $8 billion the year before.

“Identity theft continues to be a serious problem with devastating consequences for taxpayers and an enormous impact on tax administration,” George said in a statement. The fraud “erodes taxpayer confidence in the federal tax system.”

Thieves often steal Social Security numbers from people who don’t have to file tax returns, including the young, the old and people who have died, the report said. In other cases, thieves use stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns before the legitimate taxpayer files.

The IRS, which takes pride in issuing quick refunds, often sends them out before employers are required to file forms documenting wages, the report said.

“The constantly evolving tactics used by scammers to commit identity theft continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS, and we take this issue very seriously,” the IRS said in a statement. “The IRS has a comprehensive and aggressive identity theft strategy that focuses on preventing refund fraud, investigating these crimes and assisting taxpayers victimized by it.”

Despite budget cuts, the agency said, agents have resolved more than 565,000 cases of identity theft this year, three times the number of cases resolved at the same time last year.

A separate report by George said the number of identity theft victims is on the rise as thieves get more aggressive.

Through June, the IRS identified 1.6 million victims who had their identities stolen during this year’s tax filing season, the report said. That compares with 1.2 million victims in 2012.

Many of these people didn’t realize they were victims until they submitted their returns only to learn from the IRS that someone else had already used their Social Security number to file and claim a refund.

The IRS does a good job of eventually identifying the proper owner of Social Security numbers, but the process can be lengthy, the report said. For cases closed between August 2011 and July 2012, it took an average of 312 days to resolve the case and issue a proper refund, the report said.

The IRS said it has resolved most of this year’s identity theft cases within 120 days.

Last year, the IRS issued 1.1 million refunds to people using stolen Social Security numbers, the inspector general’s report said. Those refunds totaled $3.6 billion. By comparison, the IRS issued $5.2 billion in refunds to people who stole Social Security numbers in 2011, the report said.

Additionally, the IRS issued 141,000 refunds last year to people using stolen taxpayer identification numbers, which are typically used by foreign citizens who earn money in the U.S. Those refunds totaled $385 million, the report said.

Florida is a big target of identity theft in part because of the large number of older residents living there. Older and younger people can be targets for identity theft because many don’t meet the income requirements to file a federal tax return.

Nearly 38,000 potentially fraudulent refunds, totaling $147 million, were sent to addresses in Miami, the report said.

Among individual homes, one address in Orlando received 580 tax refunds totaling $870,000, the report said. Another Orlando address received 291 refunds totaling $466,000.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has introduced a bill that would toughen criminal penalties for people who file fake tax returns under someone else’s name. The bill would also require the IRS to get legitimate taxpayers the refunds they’re due within 90 days.

“While these reports show that some progress is being made in reducing tax fraud, it’s also clear that there is still much to be done and there are still a number of improvements that need to be made to protect both taxpayers and the U.S. Treasury,” Nelson said.

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Massive Tax And Securities Fraud: Biofuels Firm Cheated Victims Out Of $100M

Biofuels Firm’s Fraud Cheated Victims Of $100M, Feds Say – Indianapolis Business Journal

Federal prosecutors announced charges Wednesday connected to a Henry County biofuel refinery as part of a massive tax and securities fraud investigation, saying the operation cheated victims out of more than $100 million.

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………………………………U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett

The fraud is alleged to be the biggest instance of tax and securities fraud in Indiana history.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched an investigation last year into E-biofuels LLC in Middletown. E-biofuels filed for bankruptcy in April 2012. Its parent company, Evansville-based Imperial Petroleum Inc., received subpoenas from the SEC and a grand jury that May, according to a regulatory filing.

Imperial had to hand over an array of documents relating to E-biofuels’ accounting, purchases and sales of biodiesel, and tax credits and other incentives received from government agencies, the filing said.

“The purpose of the subpoena is to determine whether any federal laws have been violated,” the filing said.

Charging documents released Wednesday afternoon cited 88 counts against seven people and three corporations. Charges included allegations of conspiracy, wire fraud, false tax claims, false statements under the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice, money laundering and securities fraud.

Prosecutors allege that E-biofuels actually wasn’t producing biofuel. Instead, it was purchasing fuel and selling it to customers as its own product for a profit.

E-biofuels also fraudulently collected on about $35 million in federal tax breaks reserved for biofuel producers, according to charging documents.

Brothers Chad and Craig Ducey launched E-biofuels in 2007. The plant was supposed to produce 10 million gallons of biodiesel per year. Lawsuits against the company indicate that it did not reach that mark.

Chad Ducey is a Fishers resident and Craig Ducey lives in Fortville, according to a bankruptcy filing. Both are named as defendants in the fraud case. They, along with co-defendants Chris Ducey and Brian Carmichael, were the primary operators of E-biofuels, according to charging documents.

The four men conspired with co-defendants Joseph Furando and Evelyn Katirina Pattison—two executives with a pair of related New Jersey-based companies—to purchase lower-grade fuel from third parties and then pretend that it was high-grade fuel from the E-biofuels plant.

The government alleges that the defendants sold more than 35 million gallons of the inferior fuel between July 2009 and May 2012. Unwitting customers paid an inflated price. All told, they were defrauded of more than $55 million.

Imperial bought E-biofuels in 2010 for $3.75 million in Imperial’s thinly traded stock and $15 million in debt. In a regulatory filing from April 30, 2012, Imperial said that 99.6 percent of its revenue stemmed from E-biofuels.

The government alleges that Jeffrey Wilson, the president and CEO of Imperial, knew that E-biofuels was purchasing biodiesel from third parties instead of making its own. He hid this fact from investors, sharholders and outside auditors. He also made false statements in Imperial’s annual and quarterly reports filed with the SEC.

Imperial’s accounting firm resigned in August 2012, citing concerns its auditors could not rely on the company’s financial reporting for E-biofuels, according to an SEC filing. The filing did not specify what the problems were.

Carmichael reportedly has offered to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States. If convicted, he faces up to five years in federal prison.

The six other defendants face up to 20 years in federal prisoon on some counts, as well as significant fines. The three companies indicted Wednesday also face significant fines and other regulatory action.

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California Small Businesses Punished With Massive Retroactive Tax

Court Hits California Small Businesses With Massive Retroactive Tax – Moonbattery

California hasn’t collapsed like a giant Spanish-speaking Detroit yet largely because there are still small businesses that haven’t been driven into bankruptcy or out of the state, providing employment and generating revenue. But the state’s liberal rulers are working on that:

Small-business investors in California were promised big breaks five years ago, but now they’re being told to pay up, instead after a court ruling.

After following the law, many of them are getting hit with tax bills as high as $250,000.

California law promised them tax breaks if they invested in certain types of business. But now a court has proclaimed that the breaks were unconstitutional. Hence the intensified looting spree to collect back taxes no one expected to owe.

[I]t’s killing small businesses, says Ken DeVore, with the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

“It sends a message that you can’t trust government. If you comply in good faith with the rules, they can go back and penalize you.”

We might hear directly from the victimized businessmen, except,

Investors who could be hit by the retroactive taxes did not want to go on camera, fearing they would become an easy target for the Franchise Tax Board.

Ask any Tea Party organization how much fun it is to appear on the radar of the tax collectors.

To state the obvious, it is not possible to run a business in a state run by greedy, capricious, left-wing thugs. Refer to most any Latin American banana republic to get a glimpse of California’s future.

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Records Of Christine O’Donnell Tax Snooping Disappear

Records Of Christine O’Donnell Tax Snooping Disappear – Washington Times

Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.

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The revelations to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office came Tuesday as the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, formally reopened its investigation into the matter by re-interviewing Ms. O’Donnell.

“It is an active investigation now,” Ms. O’Donnell told The Washington Times after meeting with the same Treasury agent who first informed her in January that her tax records were improperly accessed.

She declined to be more specific about what the agent questioned her about in Tuesday’s session.

But Mr. Grassley, an Iowa Republican who serves on the Judiciary and Finance committees, said he was concerned by the information Delaware state officials shared with his investigators.

Specifically, Mr. Grassley’s staff was told that a Delaware state investigator asked for and received permission from his boss on a Saturday to access Ms. O’Donnell’s tax records based on a local newspaper article about a civil lien. The lien, it turned, out was issued erroneously.

Mr. Grassley said he was concerned that a simple newspaper article that alleged no criminal wrongdoing could be used to pierce one of America’s most protected privacies, tax information.

He is pressing for more information on what safeguards the IRS is using to stop such snooping and whether the system used by Delaware state officials may amount to an unmonitored back door into confidential IRS tax records.

“The state says it looked at Ms. O’Donnell’s federal records because of a newspaper article describing a federal tax lien against her,” Mr. Grassley said. “Does the state look at every taxpayer who faces a federal lien or only those who happen to appear in a newspaper article? Is it routine for a state employee to email his boss about looking at a taxpayer’s records on a Saturday, when the article appeared? It’s hard to evaluate what happened in the O’Donnell case without answering these questions, and I’ll continue to work to get more information.”

Mr. Grassley’s staff also was told that Delaware officials do not think they kept any of the computerized records showing when their investigators accessed Ms. O’Donnell’s tax records because such searches are stored for only three months before they are deleted or destroyed.

The access was believed to have occurred in March 2010, the same month Ms. O’Donnell formally launched her Senate campaign that shocked the Delaware establishment by defeating Republican favorite Michael Castle in the primary election.

“So far, it appears the department destroys the access records after a short amount of time,” Mr. Grassley said. “That’s puzzling. Unless the IRS has a back-up, and I hope the IRS does, there’s no way to know how and when Delaware state employees accessed Christine O’Donnell’s federal tax records.”

Mr. Grassley also noted that if records are routinely destroyed, this also would cast doubt on the state explanations.

“If the records were destroyed, it’s also hard for the state to support its statement that its record access occurred only in response to a public report, and not before,” he said.

The timing of when Ms. O’Donnell’s records were accessed remains in dispute. Even though they claim to have no records, Delaware state officials have said they believed the access occurred on March 20, 2010, only after a public story about the IRS lien against Ms. O’Donnell was published.

But Ms. O’Donnell told The Times last week that when investigators alerted her in January that her confidential tax records were breached three years ago, they told her the date was March 9, 2010.

That date was the same day Ms. O’Donnell scheduled a news conference to announce her Senate run. It’s also the same date the IRS admitted the lien against her was mistakenly generated by a computer and sent to Delaware.

The Times reported last week that the Treasury inspector general for tax administration had discovered at least four cases in which a candidate’s or donor’s tax information was inappropriately searched.

In one case, the investigator said the violation was willful and referred it to the Justice Department, which declined to pursue the case.

Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said last week he was baffled that the Justice Department declined to prosecute a government employee who apparently knowingly pried into tax records of a political candidate or donor, and that there should be a way for victims to know their rights have been violated.

Delaware state officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Patrick Carter, director of the state’s division of revenue, said last week that they believe employee “properly conducted a review of federal tax records.” Mr. Carter identified the employee as David Smith, an auditor.

“A state Division of Revenue investigator accessed records on or after March 20, 2010, following information that came to the attention of the division,” Mr. Carter said in a statement. “The record access led the state revenue investigator to conclude there was no basis for further state investigation of a taxpayer and no action was taken by the state Division of Revenue against the taxpayer.”

He said that his division reviewed the accessing in December and “again found state access of the records of the taxpayer was part of a typical review and was not improper.”

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Woman Can’t Convince Feds To Stop Hispanics From Using Her Address To Obtain Illegal Tax Refund Checks

Feds Unwilling Or Unable To Stop Illegal Checks – Carolina Journal

A Long Island, N.Y., woman has spent nearly two years trying to convince the Internal Revenue Service and the U. S. Postal Service that persons with Hispanic-sounding surnames using her address to obtain tax refunds from the IRS are part of a fraud scheme.

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She has not found a government agency that will stop the phony tax refunds from arriving in her mailbox. Instead, federal and state authorities pass the buck. The checks, including some offering payment for Hurricane Sandy “relief” to people who may not exist, keep coming.

Carol Cooke is frustrated. “This is fraud. It is our money and they are giving it to people that don’t deserve it. I have had 16 people using the address where I have paid the mortgage and taxes,” she told Carolina Journal. “Nobody has the right to use this address, especially for fraud. Some of the correspondence was in Spanish only.”

Cooke has lived at 557 Boxwood Drive, Shirley, N.Y., for 37 years. She approached CJ about her situation after reading a Carolina Journal Online story about Stolen Identity Refund Fraud. Federal officials say it’s the “No. 1 tax scam of 2013,” with more than $5.2 billion in losses to U.S. taxpayers reported in tax year 2010.

CJ’s initial report in March highlighted a similar scheme based in Durham. Subsequent stories elaborated on other aspects of SIRF. Cooke said she had contacted other news organizations but none expressed interest. CJ met with her in June at her home.

In October 2011 she began receiving IRS correspondence at her home addressed to other people. Initially she wrote on the envelope, “does not live at this address,” and put the items back in the mailbox. Then she took others to the Shirley Post Office and asked an employee to tell her what she needed to do to stop getting other people’s mail at her house. “I can’t stop people from sending mail to your address,” she said she was told.

The next month, IRS refund checks arrived in her mailbox. There was a $7,113 check to Maribel Rodriguez Rosado, a $7,613 check to Nadia Abad Hernandez, and a $6,073 check to Dairysol Bonilla Ocasio. “I realized that those checks were probably part of a fraud scheme,” she said.

She alerted the IRS to the situation with a phone call. The IRS representative told her to mark the envelope “return to sender.” “I was just not satisfied with that. I wanted it to stop. How can these people receive mail and then checks at my address? It is fraud,” she told CJ.

A spokesman for the IRS told CJ that the agency could not discuss specific cases or situations.

Instead of returning the checks via mail, she decided to notify another government agency, the New York attorney general’s office. She copied the checks and completing a consumer complaint form provided by the AG’s office.

The AG did nothing. “We appreciate your alerting us to this matter. We believe the organization shown below” – the IRS – “may be able to assist you and we are forwarding your correspondence there,” wrote Judy Blumenberg from the Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection in the AG’s office.

On the IRS website, Cooke found a form titled “IRS Fraud Reward Whistleblower.” She thought she could receive financial compensation for reporting fraudulent activity involving the IRS.

She completed the form and decided to involve her congressman, Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop, in the correspondence. She also filled out a “Case Information and Privacy Release Form Authorization” provided by Bishop’s office.

“This case has been forwarded to the [IRS] Criminal Investigation Division,” wrote IRS Local Taxpayer Advocate Bernardita Tehrani in a letter Bishop’s office received March 12, 2012. Bishop’s office forwarded a copy to Cooke. A spokesman for Bishop told Cooke she did not qualify for a reward. She said her main concern wasn’t the potential for a financial payday; she reported the tax fraud because it was wrong and needed to stop.

Cooke told CJ that some of her neighbors have seen strangers opening mailboxes and sifting through the contents. Several neighbors have received checks and correspondence from the IRS addressed to persons who did not live there. One woman who requested to remain anonymous told CJ that she and her husband received more 20 pieces of correspondence or checks from the IRS, all of which were addressed to people with Hispanic sounding names. Her husband delivered the material to a regional postmaster.

‘Why did you return it?’

More than a year after the IRS was notified of Cooke’s situation, she has heard nothing from the agency and the checks and correspondence have not stopped.

“Ada Gonzalez Collazo” was one name on IRS correspondence Cooke turned over to Bishop in 2012.

In March, Cooke recovered from her mailbox a letter dated March 6, 2013, addressed to Ada Gonzalez Collazo and referencing tax year 2010.

The letter read: “Dear Taxpayer: We received a returned refund check of $7,756 for the tax period listed above. However, we aren’t sure why you returned it. If you sent an explanation, we are sorry but we have no record of receiving it.

“Therefore, we must ask you to send us your reason for returning the refund check.

“If you have any questions please call Denise Pen at 978- 474-9784 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST. If the number is outside your local calling area, there will be a long-distance charge to you.”

Cooke found another letter June 18 from the IRS addressed to Collazo. The notice stated that Collazo had unpaid taxes for 2010 of $5,979.25 and the total needed to be paid by June 27 to avoid additional penalty and interest charges.

“If you don’t pay the amount due or call us to make payment arrangements, we can file a Notice of Federal Tax Lien on your property at any time, if we haven’t already done so,” the letter read.

“If the lien is in place, you may find it difficult to sell or borrow against your property. The tax lien would also appear on your credit report – which may harm your credit rating¬¬ – and your creditors would also be publicly notified that the IRS has priority to seize your property.

“If you don’t pay your tax debt, we have the right to seize your property.”

Cooke said that she is concerned that the IRS might encumber her property based on Collazo’s unpaid taxes, even though Collazo doesn’t live at her address and may not be a real person.

Cardona and Medina

In May, Cooke received a $410.17 check made out to Daniel Alvarez Cardona and another $410.17 check made out to Milagros Lopez Medina. Each check was accompanied by a letter stating that $10.17 was the amount of interest due on an overpayment of $400 for tax year 2012.

Along with those checks were notices of disaster relief assistance from the IRS. “If you have been impacted by the recent disaster in your area and are unable to meet your tax obligations, the IRS may be able to assist with payment and filing extensions, and if qualified, with an expedited tax refund for casualty losses,” stated the notices.

Separate IRS letters addressed to Cardona and Medina dated Oct. 3, 2011, said the 2010 return of each was on hold pending the receipt of additional employer information. Cooke doesn’t know if the IRS issued original checks to Cardona or Medina, or if Cardona or Medina recovered them from her mailbox.

She later received a notice dated June 10, 2013, from the IRS to Cardona stating that he didn’t file a 2011 tax return.

Some are caught

Cooke called the IRS and Postal Service responses to her situation a big disappointment. “An alert should have gone out that this is not right. Those Social Security numbers and those names should be listed in the IRS computer somewhere. Don’t send anything else to these people because they are not real. They are fraudulent,” she said.

Even though the IRS recently has cracked down on Long Island-based fraud, it is unclear whether the crackdown snared those using Cooke’s address.

In December a federal grand jury indicted six Long Island men for their involvement in schemes using stolen Social Security numbers to file more than 11,000 fraudulent tax returns seeking refunds worth up to $73 million.

According to the indictments, the defendants illegally obtained identification information including Social Security numbers for Puerto Rican residents, and used that information to file false returns claiming large refunds. The returns were filed using addresses in Shirley, West Babylon, and other Long Island towns. Then defendants then allegedly bribed Postal Service employees to intercept mailed tax refund checks. The fraudulently obtained checks were cashed at a check cashing service.

Government response

“By and large, postal employees are honest people. There can be some bad apples in any group,” said Donna Harris, a spokeswoman for the Postal Inspection Service in New York. “If they do something like this they will be taken care of,” she said. She didn’t know the status of the employees who allegedly accepted the bribes and said it’s the responsibility of the U.S. Postal Service rather than the Postal Inspector’s Office to deal with them.

As for Cooke’s situation, Harris said carriers are expected to deliver mail to the address on the envelope. A mail carrier suspecting fraud should contact the postal inspector in his area.

CJ also contacted the IRS Criminal Investigation Office in New York. “I’m sure you’re aware that federal disclosure laws prohibit IRS from discussing specific cases or situations,” IRS spokesman Dan Boone wrote in an email.

“For the 2013 tax season, the IRS has put in place a number of additional steps to prevent identity theft and detect refund fraud before it occurs. During 2012, the IRS protected $20 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft, compared with $14 billion in 2011,” he wrote.

“We have new and additional filters in place for the 2013 filing season aimed at preventing and detecting fraudulent returns. This continually updated system enhances our ability to block accounts when we know of or detect a problem. We added screening filters, including ones that target multiple refunds deposited into a single bank account or those sent to a single address.”

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Senator Cruz Joins Tea Party Leaders To Call For Fundamental Tax Reform; Abolition Of IRS (Video)

Sen. Cruz Joins Tea Party Leaders To Call For Fundamental Tax Reform; Abolition Of IRS – Cruz For U.S. Senate

Contact: press@cruz.senate.gov / (202) 228-7561

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Monday, July 1, 2013

HOUSTON, TX – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) today called for fundamental tax reform in order to abolish the IRS and put an end to its abuse of everyday American citizens. He urged Texans who believe they may have been targeted by the IRS to email irstarget@cruz.senate.gov.

“IRS targeting of American citizens is a threat and challenge, but also an inspiration,” said Cruz. “It is an inspiration that these leaders are standing up. It is a threat that the federal government is targeting, not big corporations or lobbyists, but normal American citizens that are standing up for liberty. It is a challenge that we all face to limit the power of Washington.”

Sen. Cruz called for the abolition of the IRS saying, “After these revelations of political targeting by the IRS, we need to padlock and shut down the building, abolish the IRS, and move to a flat tax or the FAIR Tax.”

Tea party leaders that joined the Senator included:
Ken Emanuelson, Dallas Tea Party
Catherine Englebrecht, King Street Patriots & True the Vote
Robert “Gonzo” Gonzalez, Clear Lake Tea Party
Darcy Kahrhoff, Katy Tea Party
George Rodriguez, San Antonio Tea Party
Toby Marie Walker, Waco Tea Party

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Follow the Liberal Logic here

Liberals care about the poor, the working class, the “little” guy. They care about kids. They care, which is why they want higher taxes on the “rich”. They care about Mother Nature, so they support higher gas prices. They care, so they demand more regulation, more taxation, more government. I had a guy tell me the other day that I should have voted for Obama, because he “cares” about poor people. Hmmm, if the Left cares so much, why do their policies always impact those they “care” so much about? You know, like millions LOSING their employer insurance because of Obamacare? Or the spike in health care premiums because of Obamacare? Or the fact that those with pre-existing conditions might not be helped by Obamacare? Or paying almost $1,000 a year more for gas?

Dreaded and feared Fiscal cliff avoided?

Not doing too much blogging today, I am exhausted, but, I did see this at The Other McCain, where Stacy notes Obama and his fans are happy about higher taxes on the evil rich

Ace has examined the reported terms of the deal, which would raise taxes on those earning more than $400,000, if indeed it is a deal, but deal or no deal, President Obama refused to be distracted from his most important second-term priority, scapegoating Republicans:

Barack Obama held a last-minute press conference today to bash Republicans and gloat about his election victory. At one point in his speech he bragged about how he’s going to be able to raise taxes on wealthy Americans.
His supporters cheered — as if they earned it.

Of course those tax hikes will do nothing at all to address the deficit, but, Democrats love to play that class warfare game so there you are. The Democratic leadership gets to tell the suckers ah, Democratic base that they are making those rich bastards pay their “fair share” and the sheep, ah Democratic base love to see the rich punished. Amazingly the walking brain donors, ah Democratic base are convinced that other people making less money benefits them somehow. 

Here are more details on the proposed deal

Under the proposed accord being hammered out by Biden and McConnell, households earning less than $450,000 would largely escape higher income tax bills, though couples earning more than $300,000 a year and individuals earning more than $250,000 would lose part of the value of their exemptions and itemized deductions, under the terms of the emerging agreement.

Low-income households would also benefit from a five-year extension of credits for college tuition and the working poor first enacted as part of Obama’s stimulus package in 2009. And businesses would see a variety of popular tax breaks extended, including a credit for research and development.

The tax on inherited estates would rise from 35 percent to 40 percent, though Democrats agreed to keep in place the current exemption for estates worth up to $5 million. And nearly 30 million households would be protected from paying the costly alternative minimum tax for the first time — either on their 2012 tax returns or at any time in the future. The developing agreement calls for a permanent fix.

The two sides also appeared to have reached consensus on unemployment benefits, with Republicans acceding to Democratic demands to keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed for another year. Medicare payments would not be cut for doctors next year, and the cost of preserving those programs would not be offset with other spending cuts.

Especially galling to me is the Death Tax, or tax on inherited estates. Why should an heir pay 40% of property ALREADY taxed? This is yet another reason we need ONE, as in JUST one tax rate, for ALL income, period!

 

One reason Leftism always fails to deliver on it’s Utopian promises…..

 

……Is that the Left driven by greed and a hatred of Capitalism kills business with taxes and regulations. Via William Teach

The Democrats who wrote, passed, and support the “American Care Act” probably thought that companies would just roll over and willingly pay a higher tax rate for their medical devices. Alas, the Real World has intruded on the Dem fantasies of collecting more tax money to spread around to their campaign contributors and voters

(Fox News) An Indiana-based medical equipment manufacturer says it’s scrapping plans to open five new plants in the coming years because of a looming tax tied to President Obama’s health care overhaul law.

Cook Medical claims the tax on medical devices, set to take effect next year, will cost the company roughly $20 million a year, cutting into money that would otherwise go toward expanding into new facilities over the next five years.

“This is the equivalent of about a plant a year that we’re not going to be able to build,” a company spokesman told FoxNews.com.

He said the original plan was to build factories in “hard-pressed” Midwestern communities, each employing up to 300 people. But those factories cost roughly the same amount as the projected cost of the new tax.

“In reality, we’re not looking at the U.S. to build factories anymore as long as this tax is in place. We can’t, to be competitive,” he said.

Surprise! Who could imagine that increasing taxes could cause a company to change its behavior rather than rolling over in docility? Liberals might say that a 2.3% tax on medical devices isn’t a big deal, but when that increases costs on a company by $20 million dollars, which is real money when you get outside the Washington, D.C. bubble, things have to be changed. And that cost also tends to be passed on to the consumer, who might think twice about making the purchase, and go with that product that was made in another country and is not subject to the tax.

But the Cook Medical spokesman said the impact is greater than just a 2.3 percent uptick in taxes. He said the impact on actual earnings is another 15 percent, and he projected the company’s total tax burden next year will rise to over 50 percent.

Go read the rest. Don’t you just love how that “spreading the wealth around” hurts, rather than helps working people. The jobs Cook Medical WOULD have created are gone, and of course Cook is not the only company being forced to cut back expansion plans. Just another example of how the Left promises to spread the wealth, but actually spreads the misery

 

In which I fully agree with Smitty

Smitty lays down an argument I myself have made and who am I to disagree with Smitty, or with myself?

Progressivism is antithetical to liberty as we know it. The silver liningcrew is attempting to find something good in the Thursday’s whuppin’. And you can re-fight it like a Civil War battle all you like. Whether or not history shows that Roberts gave us the Full Denton doesn’t matter: that’s the decision.

So, instead, let us prove ourselves an exceptional nation. Let’s muster all the patriotic attorneys general, and the great conservative legal minds, and set about saying that a tax is a tax; that godforsaken sacred cow Ponzi scheme known as Social Security is a tax, and send it to the butcher along with ObamaCare.

Who is with me?

Count me in.

France to U.S.: Yes We Can Too!

Smitty notes that the French voters have voted to double down on Socialism

According to Breitbart, Nicolas the Short has been ousted in favor of Francois Holland. Holland seems to favor:

  • raise taxes (including a marginal tax rate for earnings above $1 million to 75%),
  • lower retirement age, and
  • boost spending levels
Spend more, tax more, and then what? Looks like the French have surrendered to sheer stupidity

Hypocrisy, thy name is Liberalism

Via Instapundit comes this news. Another Liberal talking the talk, but sitting out the walk. Elizabeth Warren rails about the rich not being taxed enough, yet………..

No one takes that option, now, do they? But Warren — the Harvard lawprof who’s trying to wrest Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat out from under Scott Brown, a Republican — has been lambasting Brown for voting against the so-called millionaire’s tax. 

As Warren deftly — and professorily — put it: “I paid the taxes that I legally owed. I did not make a charitable contribution to the state.” Yeah, who expects anybody to make a charitable contribution to the state?

The state is all about compulsion. It’s a crisp, cold force that says you owe, and we will punish you if you don’t pay. So you do exactly that (if you’re reasonably competent and rational). There’s no warmth and love left over. If you’re feeling charitable, you go looking for something more specific upon which to lavish your love-in-the-form of money. In fact, it would be kind of screwy to love the government like that, to put your love-money into the general pot from which the state pays all its general expenses, even if you want the people of the state to put you in a position to cause the government to rack up even more expenses.

Brown’s campaign called Warren a hypocrite for not checking the optional higher tax rate on her personal income. “The problem with running a campaign based on self-righteousness and moral superiority is that you had better live up to the same standard you would impose on everyone else,” said the incumbent’s campaign manager, Jim Barnett, in a statement. The Brown team said Warren earned over $700,000 in 2011, adding, “This is the sort of hypocrisy and double-speak voters are sick and tired of hearing from politicians, especially those who can’t keep their hands out of others’ pocketbooks.”

Look, I have no issue with Warren not paying higher taxes. None at all. It is, after all HER money, but the hypocrisy is the important thing here. The Left screeches about the rich, paying their fair share, or about the rich not being taxed enough, yet, they never seem to stand up and take the very medicine they prescribe for “the rich”.

Now, we know what Warren, and other Democrats are doing. They are engaging in class politics, with their aim being to build up hatred towards the rich. This, they feel, is a path towards electoral victories in November. The fascinating thing here is that among those who suck this bilge up, there seems to be no awareness that these Liberal politicians are lying to them. The “99%” crowd is being led to hate a segment of the country simply because they are wealthy. They are buying into the Marxist blatherings of Liberals like Warren, while ignoring the actions of Warren and her ilk. 

This is yet another reason I have come to view the Left this way. The leaders, or maybe more to the point agitators, spew their lies, and engage in class or racial politics, knowing all along that they are lying. And then you have the fools, the useful idiots who buy into this garbage. Perhaps this group likes feeling like, or at least playing the victim. Maybe they are just so buried in the inherent pessimism of Liberalism that they cannot see through the lies their leaders preach to them. 

If these useful idiots had a grasp of history, they would realize that these lies, and false promises they are being told never come true. They might look at the 100,000,000 people who died last century because people bought into the lies of Marxism. But, they are too busy holding their hands out, expecting to mooch off the labors of others.

Excuse me Mr. President, but did you say fair?

Liberals love to use the word fair, as in  “The rich do not pay their fair share, well Milton Wolf has some questions, via the WSJ for the president.

Barack Obama is centering his re-election strategy on class warfare and the politics of jealousy. He speaks of economic justice and fairness and sews the seeds of resentment that divides our nation. OK, fine. Stephen Moore has A Fairness Quiz for the President….

Is it fair that some of Mr. Obama’s largest campaign contributors received federal loan guarantees on their investments in renewable energy projects that went bust?

Is it fair that federal employees receive benefits that are nearly 50% higher than those of private-sector workers whose taxes pay their salaries, according to the Congressional Budget Office?

Is it fair that President Obama sends his two daughters to elite private schools that are safer, better-run, and produce higher test scores than public schools in Washington, D.C.—but millions of other families across America are denied that free choice and forced to send their kids to rotten schools?

Is it fair that wind, solar and ethanol producers get billions of dollars of subsidies each year and pay virtually no taxes, while the oil and gas industry—which provides at least 10 times as much energy—pays tens of billions of dollars of taxes while the president complains that it is “subsidized”?

Is it fair that those who work full-time jobs (and sometimes more) to make ends meet have to pay taxes to support up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits for those who don’t work?

There are more, and they are worth the read. To be sure the Left has bastardized the words fair and unfair. And the Liberal base eats that type of class warfare up. Just another example of just what a childish and self-centered ideology Liberalism is.

Aleister at American Glob has an interesting video. A rich union boss telling poor Americans that life is not, say it with me now……

Well now isn’t that………..

Santorum loves him some social engineering

Don Surber nails it!

 

Should Republicans follow Rick Santorum’s lead and offer a tax credit to low-wage young men to make them more “marriageable”?

NO.

This is a particularly bad idea that James Taranto identified as “Sexual Socialism,” but then did not really explain why this is such a terrible idea. His argument is that David Brooks of the New York Times thinks this is a good idea, so it must be a bad one. That’s a convincing argument, but let me take it one step further.

This is a lousy idea because it perverts the tax code once again to do some social engineering.  Instead of simply collecting taxes to support the government, Congress and the president would use if for behavior modification. We already do $1 trillion worth of socialistic behavior modification by offering tax deductions and tax credits for everything from having a child to what sort of dishwasher you buy. At election time, these are referred to both as “tax loopholes” and as help for the middle class. It depends on whose ox the federal government is subsidizing.

Again, Santorum and his “Social Conservatism” prove my theory that you cannot trust a man wearing a sweater vest. Good Grief!

 

Picking winners and losers, Santorum style

I like Rick Santorum, but his support of this type of thing bothers me greatly.

The next piece is his economics section, but while he sounds the same general theme as the other campaigns—too much spending and statism, and the need to cut the size of government—he spends a lot of time talking about his proposal to eliminate the corporate tax on manufacturing. The reason we need to give special status to manufacturing, he says, is that the sector is fungible. Goods can be produced anywhere, so Santorum believes we need to give those businesses special protection to keep them in America. Captive businesses—my words, not his—can be taxed at the normal rate because, he says, it’s harder to relocate those jobs. Why should florists and restaurants pay corporate taxes but not manufacturers? “Because,” Santorum says, “this restaurant isn’t moving to China, right? The florist isn’t moving to China.”

Hmmm, I must say, we should have one flat, and yes low, rate for all corporations, and individuals, that makes sense. But, giving one industry lower taxes than others is just another way of allowing government to pick winners and losers. Taxes ought never be used to punish, or reward certain behaviors. And the same rule ought to apply to taxing companies.

What Santorum is advocating here is making some businesses pay more corporate taxes than other businesses. Sorry, Senator Santorum, but that stinks, and it is sad that you would support such a policy. Frankly, it seems as if you do not want less government as much as you want the government meddling in ways that you approve of. Andy at Ace of Spades asks the obvious question

Wait. What? Sprinkle the word “green” in there a little and this quote could have come from Obama.

I thought we were against picking winners and losers via the tax code, but it seems that none of our potential candidates can resist it.

I would add here that one candidate does see one tax rate for everyone. Hmmm, who is that? Oh yes, Rick Perry!

One of the great lies the Left spreads

Is that unless we relent to higher taxes, which vermin like Nancy Pelosi, call “increased revenue” teachers will all be fired, kids will starve, water and air will be polluted, and the poor will suffer! Not so fast says Lance Burri

according to Speaker Pelosi:

“…if you refuse … to take one red cent from the wealthiest people in our country and the price we have to pay is the diminished defense and the diminished strength of our country, I think that something is [wrong] here.”

Say, Madame Speaker, if paying for national defense is suddenly in danger, how about we just stop subsidizing businesses with failing business models?

Or, y’know, we should just stop subsidizing businesses. Because identifying the ones with “failing business models” requires somebody in an office somewhere to make a subjective decision about those business models, and, well, y’know. Connections.

Note what Pelosi says if you refuse … to take one red cent from the wealthiest people in our country as of the wealthy pay nothing at all. Basically the left have nothing to offer America, nothing but class warfare, divisive language, lies, and the continued wasting of our tax dollars, and of course, the continuing spiral into Marxism.

Too bad we do not have Congressmen like Lance Burri, and fewer like Pelosi. Congressmen that realize that our tax dollars should never be thrown into failing companies because it might help Obama get re-elected. The fact is, if Pelosi were honest, she would have said “If Democrats are not willing to stop pissing away American’s tax dollars on far left ventures that always fail, then they are not fit to serve in government!”


Another analysis of Rick Perry’s tax plan

From the Blogmocracy. Read the whole thing, but here is a preview

When reading Rick Perry’s economic plan, it may seem very familiar to you. That’s because it is. For anyone who doubts Perry’s conservative bona fides, a review of this plan should immediately alleviate those fears. This plan is a comprehensive list of the very things we free marketeers have been saying for years. It is also very similar to what has been offered both by Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Right off the bat here are my main impressions of the plan, the highlights so to speak. Perry introduces his idea for a flat tax, proposes balancing the budget by statute and by cutting spending. He seeks to eliminate special tax breaks for behaviors approved by government, and a massive roll back of onerous regulation inflicted by a bloated Executive Branch. You may recall that yesterday I came out in favor of Newt Gingrich based on his 21st Century Contract With America, but I also hedged somewhat by stating that any of the Gingrich, Perry, Cain trio would be O.K. with me. With that in mind, I will give Perry’s plan an overall grade of A-. There is room for improvement, but all in all, it is Red Meat for us Conservatives.

TAXATION

Perry starts out by pointing to a little talked about government statistic.  It costs American Taxpayers $483 Billion per year to comply legally with our current tax code.  Remember that figure for later, it will be important.  If you log onto the IRS website, you will see an estimation from the IRS as to what percentage of Americans who pay taxes, in fact overpay.  This percentage usually hovers around 90%.  According to the IRS’ taxpayer advocate in testimony before congress, this is due to the fact that the tax code has become too complicated for even the IRS to follow anymore.

Personal story:
Last year, I called a CPA on behalf of a client.  I asked about a specific deduction a client wished to take.  The CPA gave me a negative response, saying, “that’s ridiculous.”   The client pressed on, so I called the IRS help line.  The IRS told me sure, the deduction is good, and here is the publication that I found that info in.  I called the CPA back, feeling somewhat not confident in the info, first being conflicted, and also the IRS’ own disclaimer about their answers not being guaranteed.  As it happens, they were both wrong.  The CPA, graciously followed up by reading the entire publication and not just the first paragraph, or even only the first sentence as I suspect.  As it happens the deduction was allowed, but with very severe caveats.  The client was not Warren Buffett, but an average American tax paying citizen.

Why does this happen? Over the last decade, there have been 4428 changes in the tax code.  There will be 350 changes for 2012.  60% of Americans employ the help of paid professionals to file their personal returns.  One mistake Perry makes here is one that I have noticed personally.  Many of the professionals hired have no actual training or expertise in tax law or preparation.  There are a lot of people who operate tax preparation businesses with no more expertise than the software they purchased at their local book store.  While I do not wish to disparage the fine software products being sold,  It is not the same as paying for the services of a CPA or an Enrolled Agent.

Perry also points out that the Average Corporate Rate paid in the United States is the second highest rate of any industrialized nation.  While most of the other industrialized nations around the globe are lowering their rate of confiscation, our government is seeking to increase our corporate tax rates.  Perry has also done his homework and refers to a graph originally produced by Art Laffer.  In this particular chart, Laffer pointed to the past, and noticed that no matter what tinkering occurred with the tax code, revenues were consistently around 18% of GDP.  Fluctuations in tax rates only served to affect GDP in the long term, while increases or decreases in revenue were only affected by increases or decreases in GDP.

As I said go read the entire piece. This plan, along with Perry’s conservative stances on many other issues, guns, life, energy, small government, States rights, is a big reason I am endorsing Perry for president.

A glimpse at Perry’s economic plan

Impressive? Yes, and I think he can sell it. If elected could he get it done? A great portion of it? Half of it? All of it? Who knows, but, I like what I see, and look forward to seeing the whole thing

Texas Gov. Rick Perry supports a flat tax, he said, giving a hint Wednesday of what the economic plan he will release “in six days” will look like.

“It starts with scrapping the 3 million words of the tax code, starting over with something simpler: a flat tax,” Perry said at the Western Republican Leadership Conference at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

“I want to make the tax code so simple that even Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time,” Perry said, taking a shot at President Obama’s Treasury secretary.

The second part of his plan will be a serious commitment to spending cuts and the passage of a balance budget amendment.

“I will barnstorm this country from day one, going to all fifty states if that’s required, to generate support for a balanced budget amendment that will require — that will demand — the necessary changes be placed in our Constitution and make tough choices year after year,” he said. “We must have a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

“We must reform entitlements,” Perry added, saying that he would preserve Social Security for today’s retirees and those approaching retirement.

Again, looks promising, but the details need to be examined.