It is Tax Time, the dreaded April 15th time of year. The basic idea of helping the government keep us secure and free is a good one but how we go about it can end up a very heated discussion. And this year there are a lot more ingredients being stirred in the tax cauldron than most years.
Every age group is part of the agencies ‘all inclusive’ special group – like it or not. And you would think that this administration’s play to the young folks so they can support the massive Obamacare experiment would make the college-bound and newly career-oriented youth exempt somewhat from the heavy-handed tactics being dealt out by the IRS. But that is not the case. It appears that the 2011 farm bill had a sneaky little provision in it (funny how those pesky little ‘add-ons’ get in there isn’t it) that took out a 10-year statute of limitations on debts owed to the federal government.
The noise of the media has forced the IRS to suspend the controversial program written below of going after the adult children of deceased taxpayers the government overpaid more than a decade ago. Acting Social Security Administration Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin called a halt to the three-year-old program while the SSA reviews it.
According to Mark Hinkle, an SSA spokesperson, “We want to assure the public that we do not seek restitution through tax refund offset in cases w hen the debt in question was established prior to the debtor turning 18 years of age. Also, we do not use tax refund offset to collect the debt of a person’s relative – we only use it to collect the overpaid benefits the person received for himself or herself.”
So what was that going to mean to our new young taxpayers? For the past three years the IRS has been collecting on social security debts overpaid by a mistake of the Social Security department itself to their parents dating all the way back to the 1960s and 1970s by withholding the debt monies from the tax refunds of the children. How about that! See how much Obama and crew care for you – college students and new entrepreneurs of the nation. And, it appears, the government did not even have to prove that the debts were incurred in the first place. SSA identified 400,000 people with old debt totaling $714 million and have collected $55 million so far through tax refund offsets.
The farm bill that triggered all this appeared as another Pelosi-Obamacare look-alike piece of legislation – too big to mess with, had to pass it to see what was in it, and so far no one knows who tucked in this Machiavellian ‘present’ but once it devoured its meal from an unsuspecting refund check, most didn’t have the time or resources to fight to get it back. They were in too much shock that it even happened. Such transparency!
According to an investigative piece by the Washington Post one woman was 4 years old when her father died. Her mother then had five children to raise and they received survivor benefits until they were 18 for food and clothing. Social Security said that somewhere back there in 1977 someone got overpaid and now, 37 years later, the agency wants the money back from their own mistake. The mother is since dead so SSA wants this daughter to pay, not her siblings. The 58-year-old woman says they gave her no notice and SSA can’t even prove she received any overpayment and are threatening to report her to the credit bureaus. The method starts with the oldest sibling and works down through the family until the debt is paid. According to SSA, they sent notices – to a PO Box the woman has not owned for 35 years – even though they have her current address!
And to add fuel to the fire, the IRS continued to hold this woman’s federal and state refunds and over-grabbed to the tune of $1,400. Once she got an attorney and the newspapers got a hold of the story, the excess amount forcibly taken from her by the government was refunded.
Another man who was the victim of the shakedown tactics demanded a receipt from SSA. He was told not to expect anything.
And there is more – identity theft refunds.
Over $3.6 billion dollars was doled out to identity thieves in 2011 through fraudulent tax refunds filed by using stolen Social Security numbers. Some refunds were even sent to addresses in Lithuania, Ireland, China and Bulgaria. One address in Lithuania received 655 refunds according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
The IRS says they have all these fraud programs in place and have stepped up their investigative tactics but the identity thieves are getting more and more aggressive.
And there are a few other waste and abuse problems plaguing the agency recently, like: wasting millions of dollars on crazy training videos; awarding over $70 million in bonuses ‘for a job well done’?; not collecting about $5.4 million in back taxes from contractors; overpaying low-income tax credits by $132 Billion; and allowing over $1 million to IRS executives to “communte” to work.
And, by the way, over $11 billion in 2012 was credited by mistake for Earned Income Tax Credits. This was announced by the Treasury Department and accounts for 21 to 25 percent of all tax credits allowed that year.
And most of all – these are the people who will be administering Obamacare and in charge of all your health information and making sure your health is taken care of! Feels just so secure. Had enough?
It looks like one of our own, Congressman Ted Yoho, is at least trying to get started on an answer and gather a consortium of fellow representatives to show the IRS that they are aware of the mismanagement of the billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars and they want an answer. This week Congressman Ted Yoho released a letter to IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen urging him to combat the problem of rampant identity theft-related tax fraud. Also signing the letter in support of his efforts were 36 of his colleagues.
Washington, D.C. – To mark this year’s Tax Day, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today addressed constituent concerns about our broken tax code system and pointed to its stifling effect on the economy as proof of the need for tax reform in this week’s installment of Marco’s Constituent Mailbox video series (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RteG2ceXtk8).
In the video, Rubio outlines various disconcerting facts about the increasingly complicated tax code and the unnecessary burdens it places on taxpayers:
· It takes 13 hours for the average taxpayer to file their taxes, including record keeping, planning, as well as filling out forms.
· Last year, Americans spent 6.1 billion hours and $168 billion complying with all their tax filing requirements.
· The tax code, rules and regulations now totals more than 73,000 pages, as opposed to 400 pages when it was created in 1913.
· Americans will pay $3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.5 trillion in state and local taxes this year.
· Americans must work 111 days this year to pay their federal, state and local taxes.
Rubio then reads a constituent letter — from Frank in Ft. Myers — and responds to his call for a simpler tax code that is not used as an instrument of wealth redistribution or social engineering. In response, Rubio said, “Tax reform is critical. And it’s not just critical to take the hassle out of our lives. It’s critical for the economic future of our country. Our economy is stagnant. It’s not growing fast enough. It’s not creating enough jobs. And by the way, about 40% of the jobs that it is creating pays $16 an hour or less.
“One of the things holding back our economy is a broken tax code. We have a tax code, for example, that punishes companies for investing their profits back into their businesses, to hire more people, to give their workers raises, to expand their operations. We have a tax code that actually encourages our employers to take their business overseas. Those are some of the things we have to fix as well,” Rubio continued. “So I agree with you wholeheartedly, and that’s why I hope this November we’ll have new leadership here in Washington that will move on this important item.”
Rubio encourages constituents to continue writing letters and sharing their concerns via his official website, rubio.senate.gov.
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UN, Obama, and Gates Are Globalizing Education Via Common Core
Written by Alex Newman
For over a year now, Americans have been up in arms over the Obama administration’s unconstitutional efforts to bribe and bludgeon state governments into surrendering control over K-12 education through the controversial so-called “Common Core” national standards — and the outrage is still growing. A peek beneath the ..... more