In this season of … well you fill in the blank. Let me give you some ideas. “Mask-wearing-strained friendships-distance greeting-zoom meeting-OSHA fining-good cheer.” It should be comforting to know that the IRS is busy going after “high income” tax cheats. When you hear “high income” what comes to your mind? Millionaires, right? Well the IRS considers anybody who makes over $100,000 as a “high income” person. Oops! Sorry to pop your bubble.
What tactics is the IRS employing in this COVID-19 no meet, no touch year? How about the old tried and true, such as…getting information from whistleblowers; tips from US Attorney Offices; local Law Enforcement investigations; tax treaty and information exchanges; and the old tried and true tips from colleagues, neighbors and friends. That’s right, the IRS is working hard to get your colleagues, neighbors and friends to snitch on you. They will pay 25% of whatever they collect to those so called friends. Hey! Here’s an idea. If you’re in need of some extra cash for next year’s Holidays, consider turning in one of your close contacts, who you know is cheating the government. (Just kidding!)
I’ll bet there is an Alabama salesman who is not having a happy Christmas this year. He was sentenced for tax evasion last month. Court documents note that he stopped filing taxes, thinking he could hide his income overseas and used other tactics to avoid paying taxes. He’s now paying back more than $1 million in taxes, interest and penalties as well as spending the next two years in prison. Yup! In this dudes’ case, the IRS got their man. Sargent Friday would be proud.
So what did the IRS do to catch this Alabama feller? For one, they created a new task force called “Office of Fraud Enforcement” (OFE for short). This new unit is supposed to act a bit like a computer’s Central Processing Unit. It connects the dots across all IRS divisions, and sometimes across federal agencies, to confront emerging threats and bring offenders to justice in both civil and criminal matters. The big three activities that the OFE is focusing on is “failure to file,” “tax evasion,” and “tax fraud.” There you have it, the IRS’ new tool is a new alphabet government agency. As usual, government just loves to keep growing bigger, not necessarily more efficient.
Why did I choose this topic? I just thought you would enjoy a break from those stressful holiday shopping sprees on your computer. Merry Christmas!
Did you hear? Luke 18:11 says, “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.”