From one of his slogs through wingnuttia, Thers offers up a sad tale of IRS persecution.
The most important thing a tax accountant ever told me was if you decide to attempt to play games with the IRS, do it on the expense side. If they don’t like the expenses and disallow them, you will only get hit with interest and penalties. If you don’t report all of your income, you can go to prison.
I could have reduced my tax bills over the years in perfectly legal ways, but many of them required more time and paperwork, and I would rather do other things with my life.
What the woman in Thers tale of woe apparently didn’t know was that most businesses generate Forms 1099s for stringers and contractors. They need the 1099s to back up their deductions. The woman certainly received her copy of the 1099 and ignored it at tax time. The 1099 is like a W-2, the IRS gets a copy, and they expect to see your copy when you file your taxes. If you don’t report the income, you are in deep yogurt, and should expect to be audited at a minimum.
I certainly hope that this woman doesn’t owe more than $1000 in taxes on her unreported income, because things get nasty at that point.
May 17, 2013 8 Comments
Here Comes the Sun
What’s he up to?
[Editor: JR is settling down to soak up some 'rays' and would just as soon I left the area. He doesn't dye his hair on purpose, but the oak leaves the cats use as cushions tend to give them a 'henna rinse'.]
May 17, 2013 2 Comments
Umm, there is no ‘there’ there. Someone needs to intervene with the IRS Inspector General who is definitely living in an alternate reality.
You can read the actual report [PDF] and wonder at the mind that came up with it. The basic complaint of the IG is that you shouldn’t use the name of an organization as an indicator of the purpose of the organization. Apparently if you called your group “Politics-R-Us” that shouldn’t be used as an indicator of what you are doing. It may come as a shock to the IG, but people tend to choose names that do indicate what they are doing.
According to the report, only about a third of of the groups that were checked by the Cincinnati group were associated with the names, and only about 10% of the total applications were sent for review.
It is interesting how often the IG uses ‘election cycles’ as a unit of time. If these aren’t political groups, why would election cycles be important to them? I don’t get the feeling that the IG really understands the purpose of 501(c)(4) groups.
As ‘Noz notes, the IRS Commissioner at the time of these events was Douglas Shulman, a Bush appointee who left in November 2012. Steven Miller, the man Zero forced out, was made acting commissioner after Shulman left. Throwing innocent people under the bus to please the mob it a defining characteristic of the Obama administration.
If they mess with any of the civil service employees involved based on this report, they are going to get their heads handed to them by union attorneys.
May 16, 2013 4 Comments
Following his SOP, Zero has de facto fired the acting head of the IRS before actually looking at the situation.
Bloomberg discovered that the IRS gave Democratic leaning organizations the same treatment as the Tea-Partiers, but there were apparently fewer liberal applicants.
They also noted that:
Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, which is conducting its own IRS investigation, has introduced legislation with Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski to require all groups spending money on politics to disclose their donors.
“These problems will continue as long as there is an absence of clear and enforceable rules,” Wyden told reporters yesterday. “In the absence of clear and enforceable rules the bureaucracy pretty much makes it up as they go along.”
Jeffrey Toobin on his New Yorker blog wonders why no one has asked the obvious question: did the Tea-Partiers deserve 501(c)(4) status?
On MSNBC’s The Last Word, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has petitioned the IRS to enforce the law as written. That change would eliminate all of the political organizations from the category. The IRS IG report at the center of this ‘scandal’ references the problem for employees of the reinterpretation of the law in the regulations written in 1959, for the 1954 law.
Essentially, under the law as written, the IRS employees should have denied all of the applications from the groups they are accused of targeting. If their keyword searches to were to locate political groups, they were justified.
May 15, 2013 No Comments
It’s that time of the month when people get really irritable and workflow is interrupted for extended periods. You ask if something is done yet and it sets off strings of curses.
Yes, it is Patching Microsoft time, and anyone with multiple computers has to sit and wait. This month it coincided with FireFox and Adobe updates, so it was a bigger annoyance on three boxes.
In Linux you decide when to upgrade, you don’t have your virus software nagging you about it, or you programs turning to tar because someone else thought it was time to update.
May 15, 2013 No Comments
I have a view that most people would miss because the Section 501(c)(4) “social welfare tax exemption” takes some getting used to.
If you look at a group like MADD [Mothers Against Drunk Driving] there is no problem. They push for strengthening the laws and increasing the penalties for drunk driving. That’s where they put their effort, on that issue. When you get a single issue group with a defined goal, there is no problem making the status determination.
What happened to the IRS office in Cincinnati was a flood of applications from groups that had very general issues and vague goals. The agents were supposed to determine who met the rather vague definition of a “social welfare” group, as opposed to a political group.
Given the speed with which everyone identified these groups as belonging to one political sphere, that of the Republican Party, I would say that it was obvious that they weren’t valid “social welfare” groups and their applications should be turned down.
There is a separate tax exempt section for political groups, and it would appear to be the best choice for them. There are activities of political groups that are tax exempt, but donations are not, and reporting of donors names is required.
May 15, 2013 3 Comments
Steve Benen, among others, looks at Darrel Issa’s background: An odd choice for Grand Inquisitor.
Come on, just because he’s been indicted multiple times by grand juries for auto theft, he has only been convicted of a weapons charge. There weren’t even formal charges brought when he upped the fire insurance on on his business and a couple of weeks later a fire of ‘suspicious origin’ burned the business to the ground. It was just fortunate that he decided to remove all of his business records and computers from the business before the fire started. Those suspicious guys at the insurance company only gave him 10% of the policy limit.
Hey, you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, right? [/snark]
May 14, 2013 No Comments
Chairweasel Issa is at it again displaying his ignorance to the world.
The only commercial airliner that could have reached Benghazi in 7 hours was the Concorde SST, and it would need to stop once for fuel. Then there would have been the problem that it couldn’t land at the Benghazi airport.
Benghazi is 5,220 mile from Washington DC and a little over 400 miles from Tripoli. To be of any use you would need a C-17 with troops and equipment, and it cruises at 515 mph. It would also need to make two refueling stops to reach Benghazi, so it would be a minimum of 12 hours if there were no problems.
If there had been a Navy landing assault ship off the coast, then sending a military force would have made sense, but stripping the embassy in Tripoli of all of its security by sending it to Benghazi makes no sense. The terrorists may have been hoping for that, with Benghazi the feint to expose the real target, Tripoli.
May 13, 2013 4 Comments
I have a customer service tip for service providers – if you forget to tell people you have scheduled maintenance, when they start calling, apologize, tell them that you will have the system back up as quickly as possible, but the fire department has to declare the area safe, and none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. Do not say – wow, I thought you knew we were going to do this.
May 13, 2013 6 Comments
In a comment on the wildfires Ellroon noted that “California seasons are Mudslides, Earthquakes, Fires, and Heatwaves.” There might be another one: Subsidence.
The CBC reports that Homeowners are fleeing a sinking California subdivision. The homes are in Lake County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco on a hill with views of Clear Lake and the dormant Mount Konocti volcano. They are in a subdivision that was built 30 years ago which has experienced no problems until recently, when sections started slowly sinking. Some of the sections have dropped 10 feet.
Among the guesses as to the cause has been the shifting of an aquifer as water has been noticed on the surface where there are no known sources for it, and the area has received little rain in the last year.
In addition to their houses being torn apart, it is probable that the owners’ insurance policies do not cover the problem.
May 12, 2013 4 Comments
Juan Cole pretty much nails it in his post, Top Ten Republican Myths on Libya: Reprint edn.; since they don’t change their talking points, why should we change our blog entries?
I’ve been avoiding this, then I heard an All Things Considered interview with Thomas Pickering. Ambassador Pickering is the retired career diplomat who, together with the retired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, conducted the investigation of Benghazi. He is not a happy camper.
Mr Pickering wants the world to know that he attempted to testify at the current House hearings, but was turned down. In the interview he addresses all of the ‘controversies’ that have come out of the hearing, and rather destroys them. Understand, he is a career diplomat, not a political appointee, and people lost their jobs as a result of his report. The Republicans don’t want him to appear because he would ‘kick their butts’. but in very tempered, diplomatic language.
I still want to know when Chairweasel Issa is going to testify about the decision he and other Republican members of the committee made to cut funding for embassy security prior to the attack. It is impossible to improve security if you don’t have the money to pay for it.
May 11, 2013 7 Comments
‘The Book’ looms large in this based on comments by Cumulus that the big agencies and media buyers, have dropped them as a vendor. That isn’t just about Rush, that is the entire line-up.
‘The Book’ is the ratings book put out primarily by Arbitron in the radio market. A ‘good Book’ is worth a lot of money to station owners and will be a feature of salary negotiations. It means that the ad prices will rise, and more advertisers will buy. A ‘bad Book’ can result in a blood bath, and possibly format change. If you wonder why your favorite rock station is now sports talk, it is because of ‘The Book’.
These days your audience share might hold steady or even increase, but if your listeners aren’t in the advertiser preferred group, you will not get ads. There was a local station that catered to the ‘Greatest Generation’ with music from the Swing era, and features for seniors. It had a solid, and loyal listener base. One day it switched to talk radio without warning. Advertisers didn’t want the station’s listeners.
Protests affected Rush’s advertisers, but Cumulus’s problems are demographic, so its stations will start switching their format to stay in existence.
May 10, 2013 2 Comments
Froggie Goes A-Napping
[Editor: Froggie interrupts her nap in the sun to eye me suspiciously.]
May 10, 2013 2 Comments
This Saturday, May 11th, is the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive of the Postal Workers. I participate every year by filling a bag with non-perishable food items and putting it on the mail box Friday night. The food pantries need the help, because they are serving an ever-increasing number of people.
If you don’t have a mail box, most post offices have a collection bin.
May 9, 2013 No Comments