Sunday, August 03, 2003

Race means nothing to me, nor does a person's nationality. Good people mean everything to me and learning about them, knowing them, is important to me. However, it does bother me when people expect something for nothing!

I learned first hand about getting a lot for nothing from managing a tax office. A lot of the earliest filers there want the rapid refunds because they are getting the earned income credit money. The average refund check that I printed for these filers was for about $5,000.00 and I've learned that approximately 70% of the people that claim the earned income credit, claim it fraudulently. The difference in their refund with and without the credit would be tremendous because these people also rarely work enough to even owe taxes. A bigger income would screw up their other government payments!!

We are required by law to inform our clients of the possible penalties for committing tax fraud and I have a prepared list of questions that our clients read and sign that I put in their file stating that they understand the penalties.

The clients will come in and claim they aren't married, then each spouse will go to a different tax preparation service and claim head of household status. This gives them a bigger standard deduction than if they had filed jointly, and also allows their separate incomes to fall into the brackets that will allow them to each qualify for the earned income credit if they have dependent children. A thing that a lot of single tax payers are doing, is "borrowing" dependents in order to qualify for the HHH status and also the earned income credit. I know these are not the only ways that tax fraud is committed, but they are the most common and it is causing the honest taxpayers BILLIONS of dollars!

I never realized how much of this went on until I began working for this service 3 years ago and each year the stress of handling these filers the first 2 weeks in February is almost more than I can tolerate. There is very little that I can do about it because I am only allowed to ask the questions, not make the determination as to if they are telling the truth or not. I am allowed to contact the IRS to report cases that I may suspect are questionable, but in the past 3 years, I've not had one of the cases that I reported investigated.

So, tell me people, does this appear to be a government that is truly interested in saving the taxpayers a bit of money? Only in America huh??

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