September 24, 1997


Image of today's outrage

Last year the U.S. Internal Revenue Service collected 1.4 trillion dollars in tax payments.

President Clinton is fond of referring to this money as “contributions” made by taxpayers. But how does the IRS actually collect these so-called contributions?

According to Senate Finance Hearings set to begin later this week the IRS sometimes utilizes the following tactics:

  • Some agents use fake names when dealing with taxpayers. (This one we can sort of understand; who would want it known that you make your living as an IRS “revenue agent.”)
  • Assess tax liabilities with no basis in law or fact. (We think this means that the agents say you owe money whey they know you don’t.)
  • File liens against relatives and employees of the “target” in order to pressure the taxpayer to make his/her “contribution.” (Who conducts IRS training classes — the ghost of Stalin?)
  • Confiscate cars, boats, and homes based on flimsy authority and no judicial review.

Why do agents engage in these tactics? Apparently the IRS uses illegal quota systems that reward agents for the amount they collect or, more chillingly, the number of liens they file.

One particularly nasty byproduct of the quota systems is that it tends to focus collection efforts on small businesses and taxpayers who are the least able to mount a defense.

However, here at The Outrage we have no objection to these tactics and we think that the IRS is doing a fine job. (Did we say that right, Mr. Collector? Can we get our kids back now?)

(Source: Reuters.) 

© Copyright 1996-98, The Outrage is produced by Athens New Media. All rights reserved.

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