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IRS Now Wants To Repeal Cell Phone Tax

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the talk-amongst-yourselves dept.

Cellphones 124

narramissic writes "Last week the IRS caused an uproar when it requested public comments on ways to clarify a decades-old law, seldom enforced, that would tax personal usage of business cell phones. But IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said that the request for comments did not mean that the largely ignored rule would now be enforced. 'Some have incorrectly implied that the IRS is "cracking down" on employee use of employer-provided cell phones,' Shulman wrote. 'To the contrary, the IRS is attempting to simplify the rules and eliminate uncertainty for businesses and individuals.' And in fact, the IRS is now recommending that the law be repealed, saying that 'the passage of time, advances in technology, and the nature of communication in the modern workplace have rendered this law obsolete.'"

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124 comments

Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359959)

If you blow away the 16th Amendment [usconstitution.net], you can repeal the entire IRS, and the cell phone tax en piss-ant.
Rock on, Leahy: you're a true patriot. [federalismamendment.com]
Save the other barrel for the Federal Reserve [endthefed.us].
Amputating moral hazard is a bipartisan concern.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

Manuka (4415) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360043)

"f you blow away the 16th Amendment [usconstitution.net], you can repeal the entire IRS, and the cell phone tax en piss-ant."

While taking a leak??? Really?

I'm pretty sure that you can't repeal constitutional amendments in the men's room.

What did you REALLY mean?

Slashdotted! (Here's the article text) (2, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360091)

June 16, 2009, 07:47 PM - IDG News Service - The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is now recommending that a complicated law that would tax personal usage of business cell phones be repealed, after the agency caused an uproar last week with attempts to simplify the law.

On Tuesday, IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman asked Congress to make it clear that neither businesses nor employees will need to pay taxes on personal use of cell phones provided by employers.

Just last week the IRS requested public comments on ways to clarify the decades-old law. The request created an uproar because it implied that the largely ignored rule would now be enforced.

While workers are unenthusiastic about any new tax, this one might be particularly burdensome for both employees and employers because of the difficulty of tracking the personal use of company phones.

In its request for comments last week, the IRS suggested three possible ways to simplify enforcement of the law, including requiring people to prove that they have another cell phone that they use during the day for personal use. Alternatively, the IRS suggested that businesses might assume that 75 percent of employee use of the phones is for work and the rest for personal matters. The third method would let employers use an approved statistical sampling method to measure employees' personal use of their business cell phones.

But now the IRS says the law shouldn't be on the books. "The passage of time, advances in technology, and the nature of communication in the modern workplace have rendered this law obsolete," Shulman wrote.

He also said that last week's request for comment wasn't meant to imply that the IRS hoped to revive the law. "Some have incorrectly implied that the IRS is 'cracking down' on employee use of employer-provided cell phones. To the contrary, the IRS is attempting to simplify the rules and eliminate uncertainty for businesses and individuals," he wrote.

The CTIA wireless association applauded the IRS' latest move. "A repeal of the archaic listed property rule is the most sensible and fair action to take on behalf of every American who uses their wireless device for professional and personal purposes," Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA, said in a statement.

The IRS knows that it's hated. This is just all a huge PR stunt, and I'm not surprised that people are falling left and right for it.

Re:Slashdotted! (Here's the article text) (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360371)

due to it's lack of enforcement it wasn't near the same revenue generator as the land line tax that was repealed and refunded the other year..

Although if it was enforced it could easily replace that revenue stream - but again.. difficult to do.. and they can just drop it and everyone things they are getting a break (when nothing changes)

it's sad how easy this populous is manipulated.

It's a pun, dude (4, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360105)

Re:It's a pun, dude (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360155)

Wow. I just learned something new. I didn't know there was really such thing as a pissant. I thought it was just a figure of speech. Thanks, smitty.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360687)

The IRS should be repealed. They have no function except to service the 18k+ page Byzantine US tax code. The tax code should be a single line: you pay a flat tax on every purchase you make. The sudden increase of revenue from pimps, drug dealers, & hookers would be far more just than the current system which has increasing levels of punishment for increasing levels of success.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361247)

That tax as you describe is incredibly regressive. The poor would end up paying a far higher percentage of their income as tax than a millionaire (because a millionaire has money to save and invest, a poor person must spend everything they get just to survive). The FairTax adds a flat entitlement, which causes the tax to be progressive up until pay reaches beyond anything people are paid today. That fixes the regressive nature of a sales tax.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361651)

I would much prefer a flat income tax, with deductions allowed only for charities, education, and creative sponsorships (i.e., patrons of the arts).

I also think that the tax rate should never exceed a fixed percentage of income, including any compulsive tariffs or fees (property taxes, sales taxes, state income taxes, driver's license fees, etc.).

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

kokojie (915449) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363335)

Um no, the rich buy more expensive things, therefore pay more in taxes. The poor person buy $1000 used cars, the rich buy $50000+ sport cars, how is that regressive?

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363501)

Because, the rich person has $1 million dollars in disposable income. He spends half of this on sports cars and such and saves the rest. Thus he pays taxes on half of his income, and his tax as a percent of income is half of the poor person.

The poor person has no money to save and spends everything on essentials, thus their tax rate as a percentage of income is much higher.

The rich person pays more in tax, but 20% of a poor person's income hurts a lot worse than 20% of a rich person's income, and in this case the rich person would only pay 10%, so its even worse.

This is basic economics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regressive_tax .

<quote>
Investor and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett has criticized the U.S. tax code as highly regressive, citing himself as an example: with an income of over $46 million, Buffet pays a tax rate of 17.7 percent, whereas his receptionist pays a tax rate of 30 percent.
</quote>

mod up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360053)

Goddammit, would somebody mod this guy's great post the hell up?

MODERATORS!!! Important that you READ THIS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360143)

Mod parent and GP DOWN. The problem here is that this AC is the parent himself trolling for karma. Amen.

Re:MODERATORS!!! Important that you READ THIS (0, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360271)

Um, no, I already have all the karma I need, thanks.

Hahaha, douchebag! You just proved my point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28361409)

...by checking replies to your AC comment. I can see through your bullshovel. But I got my point across by having taco mod you down. Good luck in life. You're gonna need it.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360221)

Cool down buddy. Consumption tax flat tax etc are all stupid ideas sold to people like you who are easily persuaded that the grass is greener on the other side. Have you lived in economies that tax goods and services at more than 10%? Can you imagine the kind of tax evasion that goes on, and the parallel cash economy that springs up immediately? How many people you know who evade the simple 5% or 6% local sales tax on the services by the landscaper or the handy man? That is the tax that goes to pay for your own local neighbourhood schools and snow removal. Now imagine how willing they will be to pay a 17% or 22% tax to distant Washington DC? Can you imagine the kind of intrusive systems needed to catch the scofflaws? If you think IRS is intrusive looking at your pay slip, wait till you get IRS demanding you show documentation for having paid tax on your wrist watch and shaving blades.

Do these right wing nutties have any idea of the dangers of a cash economy? Today, in USA, 1$ in cash is worth 1$ in bank. But 1 million dollars in cash is worth lot less than 1 million dollars properly accounted for in the bank. Black money is worth lot less in USA than white money. That is not the case in Mexico, Phillipines, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Once unaccounted money gets decent buying power, then corruption sets in. We are paying pittance for our judges, police chiefs, auditors and law enforcers in general. Once cash economy takes root, corrupt people will work their way into every crevice of power and it would exceedingly difficult to get rid of them. The source of cash economy is tax evasion. Purely on that account, we should stop drinking the cool aid about consumption tax and such stupid ideas.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360387)

No, what I would really do is have DC do its usual appropriation [wikipedia.org]/authorization [wikipedia.org] shenanigans as usual, but add a third step where they carve up the cost against the states.
Force the states to tax farm all of the desired federal spending.
This would effect a badly needed negative feedback loop [wikipedia.org] to drive the system towards a gazinta==gazouta state.
Sure, you need exception handling for situations like a No Kidding Declaration of War [wikipedia.org], (which hasn't been seen since FDR), and times when states default on their "fair share".
But if you want social spending, and haven't told me how you're doing it without chronic deficit spending [perotcharts.com], you haven't told me much.
Returning to your post, you seem to be arguing transactional trees at the expense of the financial forest, ignoring intrinsic infernos.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (4, Interesting)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360931)

But if you want social spending, and haven't told me how you're doing it without chronic deficit spending, you haven't told me much.

This part's actually not that hard, my country (Soviet Canuckistan) had been deficit-free for several successive governments now. We're probably going to have a deficit this year, thanks to your country's free-market true believers deregulating the hell out of your banks (and other causes) since Reagan, and finally taking down the world economy, but we're expecting the return to deficit spending to be temporary. There's a good chance that the current government will fall, because the deficit is going to be bigger than projected (the PM's a Conservative, incidentally). But not to worry, Canadians in all demographic groups will continue to receive their universal health care.

The trick seems to be 1) don't deregulate the financial system, because greedy bastards will rob you blind if given a free hand. 2) turf out politicians who take too much pork (a little pork fat does keep the wheels turning), because the greedy bastards will rob you blind if they can and 3) turf out politicians who threaten to take away your most cherished social programs, because the greedy bastards would rather spend the money on pork (see 2).

Of course I'm being too glib, but if your basic requirements are social spending and no deficit (I suspect you'd rather see no social spending, given some of your sources), then it's been done, and done consistently (if not always done well).

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361095)

Possibly there is an apples/oranges comparison at work here.
The US has close to 10 times the population of Canada. California alone has more people than Canada.
Nothing in my argument precludes a Canada-style system in any one of our 57 states. Citizens should have the right to vote as they see fit. Just ask Mitt Romney, and he'll tout his Massachusetts work.
The entire sub-prime crisis ought to have been precluded a priori by a simple reading of Amendment 10 [usconstitution.net]. You don't need chemotherapy to contain a cancer driven by a carcinogen you don't ingest.
The US has plenty of room for socialism. I'm arguing that implementing it federally must be opposed.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

denobug (753200) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361623)

The trick seems to be 1) don't deregulate the financial system, because greedy bastards will rob you blind if given a free hand. 2) turf out politicians who take too much pork (a little pork fat does keep the wheels turning), because the greedy bastards will rob you blind if they can and 3) turf out politicians who threaten to take away your most cherished social programs, because the greedy bastards would rather spend the money on pork (see 2).

Good point. Easier said then done.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360657)

Once unaccounted money gets decent buying power, then corruption sets in

Yeah, because there's no corruption in Obama's government now (cough Geithner [wikipedia.org]) (cough Daschle [wikipedia.org]) (cough brewing AmeriCorps scandal [wsj.com]). Thanks for figuring it all out for the rest of us dummies, liberal elite!

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360897)

You have absolutely no idea of what corruption is till you see how things get done in Pakistan and Bangladesh. High sales/consumption taxes and no record keeping of income and wealth will lead to that scenario.

I am not arguing there is no corruption in Obama's administration or Bush's. But this pales in comparison to what happens in a cash economy. But go ahead drink your cool aid. The one positive thing about USA is that the demographic shift is taking power away from the people who feed cool aid to people like you. So stew in your own perceived injustices and self declared victimhood.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360803)

Have you lived in economies that tax goods and services at more than 10%?

Doesn't that cover most of Europe and Canada?

How many people you know who evade the simple 5% or 6% local sales tax on the services by the landscaper or the handy man? That is the tax that goes to pay for your own local neighbourhood schools and snow removal.

First of all, the collection and payment of sales tax is up to the landscaper or handyman, not the person paying them, at least in my state. Second, that tax goes to the state and not to the local schools (except indirectly).

Now imagine how willing they will be to pay a 17% or 22% tax to distant Washington DC?

That's a feature, not a bug.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (2, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360971)

Now imagine how willing they will be to pay a 17% or 22% tax to distant Washington DC?

That's a feature, not a bug.

So you are advocating for an intentionally crippled system and would cheer on wide spread tax evasion. You are not fit to live in a Democracy. Do you know how Democracy will die? Not with bullets and guns. It will die because of people like you who keep granting themselves benefits of Democracy without the willingness to pay for them.

I am a rugged independent fella living out in Arizona and I want the federal government off my back. Just go build Hoover Dam and give me my electricity. Just regulate the utilities so that they don't over charge me. Regulate the stock market so that I know safe companies to invest. Just build roads and administer the air traffic. And then just go away, I am not paying any taxes. I am a rugged independent fella living out in Arizona.

You are a clueless idiot who had the luck of being born in the USA due to some kind of good karma you got in your previous birth. Just enjoy the life here and pass away without mucking it up for all the future generations.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361587)

the collection and payment of sales tax is up to the landscaper or handyman, not the person paying them

Actually, in most states, is IS up to the person buying the goods or services to pay the taxes if the service provider or vendor doesn't collect and remit those taxes. It's usually called a "use" tax, etc. So, if you're in California for example, and have a product shipped to you from South Dakota... you're supposed to write a check to your state government in the amount that the sales tax would have been if you'd made the same purchase from a retailer in California.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (4, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360983)

Cool down buddy. Consumption tax flat tax etc are all stupid ideas sold to people like you who are easily persuaded that the grass is greener on the other side. Have you lived in economies that tax goods and services at more than 10%? Can you imagine the kind of tax evasion that goes on, and the parallel cash economy that springs up immediately? How many people you know who evade the simple 5% or 6% local sales tax on the services by the landscaper or the handy man? That is the tax that goes to pay for your own local neighbourhood schools and snow removal. Now imagine how willing they will be to pay a 17% or 22% tax to distant Washington DC? Can you imagine the kind of intrusive systems needed to catch the scofflaws? If you think IRS is intrusive looking at your pay slip, wait till you get IRS demanding you show documentation for having paid tax on your wrist watch and shaving blades.

Do these right wing nutties have any idea of the dangers of a cash economy? Today, in USA, 1$ in cash is worth 1$ in bank. But 1 million dollars in cash is worth lot less than 1 million dollars properly accounted for in the bank. Black money is worth lot less in USA than white money. That is not the case in Mexico, Phillipines, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc. Once unaccounted money gets decent buying power, then corruption sets in. We are paying pittance for our judges, police chiefs,
auditors and law enforcers in general. Once cash economy takes root, corrupt people will work their way into every crevice of power and it would exceedingly difficult to get rid of them.
The source of cash economy is tax evasion. Purely on that account, we should stop drinking the cool aid about consumption tax and such stupid ideas.

All of Europe lives with a VAT, which is a consumption tax. The rates are usually around 20%. Citizens aren't ever asked to show they paid tax - that's put on the businesses. I've seen more under the table money in the US than in Europe, perhaps because the VAT is so much simpler to enforce across the board. Prices in Europe always include tax - no one shakes their fists at the tax markup, and those who have a problem with it don't seem as upset as the typical American who is upset with the income tax.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362311)

You do hear about Europeans coming to the US to buy stuff. Part of that is the exchange rate, but 10% less tax helps. I also think some of the eco-consciousness of Europe is a result of the fact that everything is so expensive

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

TBoon (1381891) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363633)

Or maybe it's because some stuff is just so much cheaper in the US for no apparent reason? Like a video camera I want to buy that is nearly 50% more expensive over here. VAT only explains half the difference, but what causes the rest? (And yes, I checked the price for the PAL version in the US!)

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28361099)

Right wing nutties? More like left wing dumb bats....

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361467)

I live in a country with 18% VAT (which for consumers is pretty much equivalent to "sales tax").

There's not that much VAT tax evasion.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361499)

If you think IRS is intrusive looking at your pay slip, wait till you get IRS demanding you show documentation for having paid tax on your wrist watch and shaving blades.

I'm going to be nice and not insult you, but you really shouldn't have a +5 Insightful with such an ignorant comment. The point of a consumption tax is to keep the IRS from ever coming after an individual. Only people with a business license would be paying taxes. So the IRS would never go after the individual for a watch he bought. Instead when the landscaper applied for his business license and filed the taxes for his business that is where the IRS would come in. The consumers have no legal responsibilty to pay the consumption tax, it is purely the responsibility of the business owner. If you want to keep your business you'll pay your taxes.

http://www.fairtax.org/ [fairtax.org]

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362247)

Well, then unregistered fly-by-night operators will undercut legitimate tax paying businesses by 20%. Consumers with no legal responsibility to pay the tax are now saddled with the responsibility of verifying the authenticity of businesses for the privilege of paying 20% extra. It will be a race to the bottom and next to no time you will have a cash economy.

Communism does not work because it is assumes an ideal behavior of the workers and the government. Your flat tax, sales tax, consumption tax, simplified income tax etc do not work because they too assume ideal behavior on the part of citizens and businesses.

With real people, real businesses on the ground, every one will minimize their tax burden. Some using legal methods and some using illegal methods. Unless your solution thinks about the ways in which people escape taxes, the mechanisms to counter that etc, your solutions are as likely to founder as did communism.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362339)

You can bet that both state and federal tax authorities will be intruding more than ever trying to find funds during these economic hard times.
                    As for remarks about public employees being paid low wages I suggest to you that in fact they are vastly over paid compared to non government workers in many areas of the US. For example many jobs have no benefits at all in the private sector. No retirement, no vacations, no medical care may be standard in many areas in the private sector.
                  And this private sector freedom has very serious regional impacts. I could show you an area in Georgia were almost every one gets a minimal Social Security check of about $700 per month or a few dollars less. In these small town areas jobs always paid really tiny wages and when folks reach retirement their checks reflect what they were earning decades ago. It is more than telling that states that have the worst poverty issues are conservative in nature. It is really hard to be more conservative than Mississippi and take a peek at the poverty in that state.

Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28362381)

"That is the tax that goes to pay for your own local neighbourhood schools and snow removal."

In many states, this is paid for by property tax; sales tax usually goes into a "general" fund at the state level.

There are, however, many municipalities that collect sales tax. Bad luck to them for picking a tax that is simultaneously easily avoided and regressive.

It is probably better for local municipalities to tax income instead of property and sales since it is inherently a "fairer" tax and more importantly, it reduces the ability of government to take property through unconscionable taxes.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362955)

That's why you make the seller responsible rather than the buyer and you exempt personal sales based on volume such that you can sell your car house without paying, but if you sell enough cars or houses to make a living, the tax is due. Exempt food and the tax becomes progressive.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (2, Informative)

EtherMonkey (705611) | more than 4 years ago | (#28364239)

Can you imagine the kind of tax evasion that goes on, and the parallel cash economy that springs up immediately?

Is this so much worse than the current situation, where many just charge and pay 15% or higher interest to those wonderful financial institutions responsible for our current economic crisis?

How many people you know who evade the simple 5% or 6% local sales tax on the services by the landscaper or the handy man? That is the tax that goes to pay for your own local neighbourhood schools and snow removal

Not in my state. School budgets, county and local services come out of property taxes. State Sales Tax and State Income Tax goes to big feeding troth in Trenton.

Now imagine how willing they will be to pay a 17% or 22% tax to distant Washington DC?

I already pay that amount. If it comes out as a sales tax then I'm better off because a) I don't have to deal with filing returns and the associated costs, and b) my savings and investments aren't taxed.

Once cash economy takes root, corrupt people will work their way into every crevice of power and it would exceedingly difficult to get rid of them.

Once again, I live in NJ. We already have corrupt people in every crevice of power. Taking power away from the corrupt banks would be an improvement.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28361571)

You had me right up until you said right wing nutties.

Re:Hey, ya know: screw the dumb stuff (1)

Ifni (545998) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361805)

I just interpreted it to mean all extremists, since if you go far enough right, you wrap around to the left...

Okay, not really, but since both extremes should be shot, I just lump them all together anyway. So it kinda works out.

ISPs as internet cops (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28359987)

Because it's worked so well in other countries who tried to have service providers enforce copyright laws at their own expense, just so the RIAA can make more money.

Re:ISPs as internet cops (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360005)

okay, that one was meant for the UK internet tax article. I'm already applying my forehead to my desk for posting it here by error. That's what happens when you try to post while a coworker is bugging you about something blatantly obvious he's simply not getting.

Re:ISPs as internet cops (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360027)

If you are like me you should probably give more attention to your job and less to /.

Re:ISPs as internet cops (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360079)

I probably should.

*shakes Magic 8-Ball* "Don't Count On It."

Hmmm, this thing is pretty accurate. I wonder if it can help me with my office's email software problems?

*shaks again* "Outlook Not No Good."

Wow, this thing DOES know a few things about computers!

Re:ISPs as internet cops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28361211)

sounds like he needs to pay MORE attention to /. cause he's posting on the wrong stories.

Something doesn't smell right... (3, Insightful)

Manuka (4415) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360003)

The IRS wants to get RID of a tax?

Why am I deeply suspicious of this?

What's really going on here? What am I quietly going to get nailed on instead?

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360045)

The IRS wants to get RID of a tax?

Why am I deeply suspicious of this?

What's really going on here? What am I quietly going to get nailed on instead?

I read another article by Reuters [reuters.com] about this that is entitled:

Obama backs repeal of tax on personal cellphones

Very little mention of the IRS in that article. They make it sound like Treasury Secretary (Timothy) Geithner got together with Douglas Shulman, the Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, and convinced him to ask Congress to repeal this. Together.

You know, I don't know where the initiative came from, it doesn't really matter. But I found it amusing that a lot of news outlets probably thought "IRS to Repeal Tax"? That cannot sell and sounds like a lie. Better rephrase that to "Obama Cabinet Moves to Repeals Tax."

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360277)

Obama Cabinet Moves to Repeal Tax

That would probably make even more people go "huh?" than the "IRS Wants to Repeal Tax".

Besides, this is really just a simplification of tax rules which are already not enforced as it is. It's just common sense. In the days when cell phones were luxury items that few could afford, maybe it made more sense, but in these days where you can literally pick up a cell phone at your local convenience store for a few bucks, it's just stupid.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (2, Interesting)

Y2KDragon (525979) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360049)

I can understand your suspicion. But now, more than ever, people are getting lawyers to force the IRS to accept less than what they claim is owed. It's actually cheaper for the IRS to simplify matters, and even collect less in taxes, than to try to force tax laws that do not properly reflect current technology. Maybe I'm being too optimistic, but perhaps this is part of the change the IRS is trying to show.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

tatman (1076111) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360101)

They wouldn't be asking for comments for purpose of clarification if there was any intent of repealing the law. They are looking to see if it will be easier to enforce the law and nab a smidgen more tax from working Americans that happen to follow the law. Lawbreakers (illegals, those who don't file or cheat on their filings etc...) will be exempt of course.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (5, Insightful)

Savior_on_a_Stick (971781) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360861)

There are many situations where a request for comments is mandatory.

Your right winger knee jerk reaction is utterly without a basis in the facts of this particular situation.

The irs actually does a pretty fair job of making some sort of sense - twisted though it occasionally may be - out of the spaghetti legislation handed to it by congress.

It's hardly surprising that they would ask congress to ditch a law with which maybe a half dozen people on the planet comply.

The cost of maintaining the documentation, training it's agents, publishing forms no one uses - what's the point?

It's typical that even when an agency steps up and says "um...we've looked at what we're doing and there are some practices that don't make sense, and don't serve anyone, and we'd like to change them - anyone else have any input first?" - some troll crawls out of Limbaugh's jock to piss and whine.

Get a life.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28362549)

What makes someone "right-wing" to distrust the government?

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

bluephone (200451) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362941)

Definitions. We say right wingers want total free market anarchy and no government except that which can be provided by corporations, and right wingers say left wingers are totalitarian lovers who think Stalin didn't go far enough. :)

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363457)

I know Obama's America is supposed to be a different place, but I don't know if I'm prepared to go as far as "trust the IRS".

Easy (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360177)

see that Blackberry the Prez carries... found out he was calling the wife.

well, one thing led to another and...

Most likely, the IRS seriously fumbled the handling of the issue and instead of getting ahead of it they got caught with their pants down. Since about everyone likes to hate to the IRS and it makes great talk radio ratings they really didn't have much of a choice. Best of all its not a loss either, they were not collecting it so they can't lose money they didn't collect. Everyone wins, the pundits can claim their bringing to the people got it resolved and the IRS can look magnanimous for removing a stupid tax.

Re:Easy (1)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360261)

Anything and everything POTUS does is business, not pleasure.

Re:Easy (1)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360299)

I'm sure that was what Clinton was thinking when Monica was on her knees.

Re:Easy (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362895)

That was clearly a taxable benefit for the POTUS.

As a side note, the cum stained dress was clearly a taxable benefit to Monica as well. Hmmmm

If we taxed sex, all of our country's financial problems would disappear over night. The film industry in San Fernando Valley was unavailable for comment.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360525)

They (apparently) want to get rid of this tax.

So far, so good, but what if "simplifying" the tax regime means "Oh, but we'd like a flat tax on all cell sales / contracts / minutes / SMSs, since that's simpler than trying to identify and tax personal use of business phones."

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360609)

This is a truly strange day.

The IRS wants to simplify a code? The Obama administration is looking at reducing taxation?

/me turns around and looks up, and sees a number of strange people in wet suits, with a wheel on a stick. They keep saying "Bizzaro! Bizzaro! BIZZARO!"

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360615)

This tax is probably getting evaded constantly (intentionally or not), and brings in comparatively little revenue... It probably costs more to police it than it actually brings in.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363211)

I would imagine so

And how much is the tax on the free minutes the employee used for personal reasons? Only one of the 8 or so cell phones uses all the minutes on business, everyone else has minutes to spare that are already paid for. Now let's try calculating the taxes when all those phones can share minutes.....

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360627)

If it's unclear what it means and how to apply it in current-day situations, they sure might want to get rid of it.

Difficult to understand is one thing with tax code...if it's actually unclear or ambiguous (practically and legally), it's probably a nightmare to administer (extra review time, more complicated audits...all in all, fewer returns on the money collected and difficult to "claw up" the money *not* collected).

If the law is bad, they'll do away with it. If at the same time their assessment shows that there's a taxable value in this area to be had that can be properly nailed down and collected at a lower cost, we may well eventually see a new law aiming to clarify the issue and get that money collected.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28362547)

they'll probably drop off "business" use of personal cell phones as well.. no more of the "60% usage" business. (that will nick the part-time "contractors" pretty good.) If it's paid for by a company, it's their expense, if it's paid for by you it's not. With things like SOX in place businesses aren't really "supposed" to be sending business communication to personal phones of anybody... so most buy each employee a company-owned phone and lock it down tight, so the problem's mostly fixed itself now, even if you make personal calls there's pretty strict company policy about your minutes now.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363173)

The IRS wants to get RID of a tax? Why am I deeply suspicious of this?

<a few months later> Now that we eliminated that confusing tax, we need to create a new tax for business cell phone users, one that is simpler and brings in more money than the old one. Ummm, ignore that last part; I didn't mean to verbalize it.

Re:Something doesn't smell right... (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 4 years ago | (#28364227)

The IRS wants to get RID of a tax? Why am I deeply suspicious of this? What's really going on here? What am I quietly going to get nailed on instead?

Step 1: Repeal tax that has produced nearly zero revenue since its inception.
Step 2: "Hey look! I'm cutting taxes!!"
Step 3: Get re-elected.

Wait, what? (4, Funny)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360015)

The IRS wants to repeal a tax law?

Who are you people, and what have you done with our Internal Revenue Service?

Re:Wait, what? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360451)

We are your Imaginary Rescue Squad.

The "Internal Revenue Service" Is in the cinema. Watching Hanna Montana, the movie. We tried to send him to hell, but God told us we should not be that cruel on the devil. (Who already had installed his first break-in protection system, when he heard about it. He also was the one, who recommended the movie. It's nice to see Satan still being able to be that cruel, after all those years and the broken marriage with Saddam.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363413)

No, the Internal Revenue Service is doing fine. It's the Infernal Revenue Service I'm wondering about.

Sorry, What? (4, Funny)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360021)

Sorry. What? The IRS is being logical? They want to repeal an outdated law? Who is this new IRS?

Re:Sorry, What? (3, Funny)

hansraj (458504) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360071)

Not only that, kdawson posted a feel-good story instead of a world-is-coming-to-an-end story! Something is seriously wrong around here.

Re:Sorry, What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360373)

Not only that, kdawson posted a feel-good story instead of a world-is-coming-to-an-end story! Something is seriously wrong around here.

Well, duh! If the IRS is repealing taxes the world is obviously coming to an end.

Re:Sorry, What? (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360795)

Why is it outdated, just because it has never been enforced?

It makes sense that employee perks are taxed the same as income, otherwise incoming is just replaced with perks. How many really need a phone paid for by the company or are you just evading taxes? If you use it many for personal purposes I would count it tax-evasion.

Re:Sorry, What? (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362099)

Really? It's a cell phone, not a condo in Cancoon. Seems it would be hard for the IRS to Audit every business cellphone plan looking for Personal Phone calls that were not reported. A lot of time and money to regulate a very small "perk". My company provides free Coffee every morning and free Cokes in the fridge. I have not been reporting those on my taxes either, should I? ~$0.50 every time I reach into the fridge for a coke?

Don't worry . . . (2, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360039)

. . . it is sure to be replaced by a new tax which generates more revenue than the never-used cell phone tax. In fact, that's how they'll justify the new tax ("well, we did get rid of this obsolete tax no one ever paid, so this is more than fair"). At the current rate of spend of this administration, we'll soon be taxed by the breath.

It's time to be patriotic, after all.

Just earlier... (2, Interesting)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360159)

I was reading an article on Slashdot, not even two hours ago, where a poster begged for someone to post an example of a tax being repealed.

Your move :)

Re:Just earlier... (1)

El Torico (732160) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360249)

It hasn't happened yet.

It's still your move.

Re:Just earlier... (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361021)

24th Amendment, United States Constitution:

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Passed August 27, 1962. Ratified January 23, 1964.

How about... (2, Funny)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360175)

How about while were at it we repeal any tax that the government didn't deserve in the first place (that they did nothing more than basic safety/defense). Perhaps then we can see lower taxes, more sane taxes, and a general economic boom.

Re:How about... (1)

denobug (753200) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361737)

How about while were at it we repeal any tax that the government didn't deserve in the first place (that they did nothing more than basic safety/defense).

In theory, governments deserves none of our taxes. But since government cannot function without resources and we need the government in real life, we pay taxes to the government.

thank the gods (1)

IlluminatedOne (621945) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360231)

Our controller was already having sugarplum dreams about how he could 'navigate us through this'. I am pretty sure our CEO was fitting a noose for himself as the conversation took place. I'll let him find out about this one on his own though. If I tell him, I'll wind up backing out of the office slowly like Constanza exiting Steinbrenner's office.

Seriously though, when I was told of this, my mind was a jumble of the bureaucracy and heartache this would cause. My hope is that gov't agencies like the IRS and Treasury are give the task of auditing the FRB, but that's OT here....

Uh huh, sure you are (1, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360253)

'To the contrary, the IRS is attempting to simplify the rules and eliminate uncertainty for businesses and individuals.'

If that were the case, then the IRS would be lobbying Congress for a flat corporate tax, and either a flat income tax for individuals that applies to all income or replacing the income tax with excise taxes. The income tax is now useful to the feds mainly as a form of social control. If you become too much of a thorn in the President's side, he can just have the IRS audit you and those associated with you. The IRS doesn't even fully understand the income tax laws because they are so convoluted, which makes them a perfect mechanism for railroading someone.

If you want to lightly tax the working and middle classes, while "soaking the rich," here is how you do it. You establish a 2.5% flat income tax. Everyone pays, even if it's $0.025 on a dollar bill because everyone benefits from the system. Even the poorest Americans should pay at least $1 that they'll never get back to support the military. After that, you impose a luxury tax of some sort. It can be stand alone or a "progressive sales tax" where you would charge 2% on a car that costs $100k or less, but then jump to 10%. The feds could also levy a 20% luxury tax on any house that costs more than $1.5M.

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360981)

The feds could also levy a 20% luxury tax on any house that costs more than $1.5M.

We've got something very much like that where I live. It's a county tax based on value of home that progresses upward as the value of the home increases.

I have an uncle (he's a gun maker and photographer [I'm sure that's enough to get a Google hit]) that avoids the tax by buying several smaller houses close together and the land between them. Tears down the houses that he won't use and renovates the one that he will live in. Where the torn down houses were, He'll build a greenhouse, pool house, stable, etc... Since they're not primary dwellings, or for that manner a place to live period like the stable, those structures are not subject to the tax. So basically he's got a piece of property worth a large chuck over where the tax increases to a higher rate, but he avoids the tax by having them all separate structures and classified as non-habitable structures.

I'm sure that everyone would point out that this is a huge loop-hole. You are correct, it is. Maybe one day they'll patch it, but I'm sure he'd figure out how to get around that too.

Point being, rich people have the resources to figure out how to get around the tax system regardless of whatever tax system we choose. So we might as well just have a flat tax on wealth, not income. Most rich people avoid income tax currently by declaring their income as capital gains as opposed to income. (I can't remember right off but I think the max on capital gains is 15% and income is like 35%). Anyway, had to reply since it reminded me of my uncle.

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (2, Insightful)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361283)

A 2.5% flat income tax? 2.5%?? My dear friend, I don't even need the back of an envelope to tell you that you'll never take in enough tax with that to cover even the most basic of public services. Making up the shortfall with a tax on luxury goods won't work because, well, they're luxury goods! Per definition people are willing to forgo their purchase. And, even if they weren't, I highly doubt the turnover on luxury goods is high enough that even a 100% tax would fill the Government's coffers much.

Further, your flat income tax suggestion ignores the ability-to-pay-principle: those who can afford to pay more, should (i.e. progressive taxation). Otherwise you are expecting the weak to carry the same burden as the strong, when the weak should be supported by the strong. Because the weak (poor) spend a greater proportion of their income on the necessities of life than their strong (rich), a flat tax hits them proportionally harder – though it seems counter-intuitive, a flat tax discriminates against low-income earners. Also supporting the ability-to-pay-principle is the decreasing marginal utility of income.

A possible ammendment to your suggestion would be to have a tax-free threshold that would allow everyone to purchase the necessities of life, then taxing flatly from then on -- the tax is then weakly progressive, as with each dollar you earn your average tax rate rises, though the marginal rate remains unchanged. This flat tax has been calculated to be (for Australia) around 40% (I'm going from memory here, so +/- 10%). In any case, an order of magnitude higher than your suggestion.

Another possibility, though less accepted in the anglo-saxon world (a little more so in Europe, where socialism isn't a dirty word), is to simply give everyone a basic income (say, US$11000 – the US Poverty Threshold in 2008 [census.gov]) and then tax every dollar of income.

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361967)

Further, your flat income tax suggestion ignores the ability-to-pay-principle: those who can afford to pay more, should (i.e. progressive taxation). Otherwise you are expecting the weak to carry the same burden as the strong, when the weak should be supported by the strong. Because the weak (poor) spend a greater proportion of their income on the necessities of life than their strong (rich), a flat tax hits them proportionally harder - though it seems counter-intuitive, a flat tax discriminates against low-income earners. Also supporting the ability-to-pay-principle is the decreasing marginal utility of income.

This is so wrong it's not even wrong.

With a flat tax, the people who earn substantially more money are paying substantially more taxes. In a 10% scenario, the kid out of school, flipping burgers for beer money and making only $10k, pays $1k in taxes. The law firm partner making $1m pays a thousand times more in taxes (do you really suppose he's getting a thousand times more in government services?). He pays the same tax burden as thousand part-time burger flippers. To say nothing of the tax revenue that is also created through sales and use taxes when he actually spends any of his more substantial income, or when he pays his real estate property taxes, or when the people he pays to maintain that property in turn participate in the economy and tax system.

...a flat tax hits them proportionally harder...

No. It hits each of their dollars in exactly the same way.

a flat tax discriminates against low-income earners

How? It's utterly blind to how a given dollar is made. A progressive tax, on the other hand, actually does, actively and by design, discriminate against those that produce more, or work harder. Your low-wage-earning guy that has it in him to work two jobs so that he can bring up his family's standard of living? That guy, through progressive taxes, is punished for having the energy and dedication to work harder and take risks. That is discrimination.

a tax-free threshold that would allow everyone to purchase the necessities of life, then taxing flatly from then on

So, is a fat person allowed to purchase more "necessities of life" than a skinny person? Is the person who decides to live in an area where houses are routinely destroyed by hurricanes allowed to get more tax-free "necessities of life" income because they've chosen to live in a way that costs more than someone else? Ah, I see - you're suggesting a gigantic new bureacracy (paid for by more taxes, of course) that would be in charge of figuring out just how much of a necessity is each and every purchase, as applied to each demographic living under each possible circumstance in each geographic area. Because obviously someone living in North Dakota needs a substantial all-terrain vehicle and a snowmobile, whereas the family living in Georgia doesn't. Or do they? Gosh, the efficiency of your plan is amazing! What could possibly get in the way of it being fair and quickly implemented!

is to simply give everyone a basic income (say, US$11000 - the US Poverty Threshold in 2008) and then tax every dollar of income.

Ah, a sort of fiscal perpetual motion machine, then? Why not simply redistribute less of someone else's income to the people who get the freebies, and not collect tax from them? Oh, because you think it's more efficient to involve more money moving around, more tax professionals needed to keep track of who gets what, more record keeping... more friction in the system that generates the heat of corruption, political power grabbing, and all of the rest that naturally comes from more government involvement in money flowing two directions, instead of just one? You aren't working for a government employee labor union's public relations office by any chance are you?

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363057)

Bravo!

Everyone should pay something in taxes, only then will they care how it is used. People who don't pay ANY taxes don't care how it is used.

You want to fix government? Fix the tax code so people care about what the government does. And you won't have anyone running around saying "Obama's going to pay for my gas and mortgage" [youtube.com]

There is no such thing as someting for nothing. And the rich cannot pay for everyone else.

What ever happened to self sufficiency?

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28363665)

I think that your parent poster was saying that if you only have ten thousand dollars, taking one thousand dollars away from you is a lot "harsher" than taking $100,000 away from a millionaire. The millionaire still has $900,000 left, which can cover ANYONE'S basic living needs (I doubt this is up for debate, but if you disagree, I'm open for your argument!).

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (1)

slamb (119285) | more than 4 years ago | (#28364105)

I have moderation points, but unfortunately, there's no option for "Fallacies - Straw Man [wikipedia.org]". The closest is "Troll" but I'd like to be more specific. I mean, really:

a tax-free threshold that would allow everyone to purchase the necessities of life, then taxing flatly from then on

So, is a fat person allowed to purchase more "necessities of life" than a skinny person? Is the person who decides to live in an area where houses are routinely destroyed by hurricanes allowed to get more tax-free "necessities of life" income because they've chosen to live in a way that costs more than someone else? Ah, I see - you're suggesting a gigantic new bureacracy (paid for by more taxes, of course) that would be in charge of figuring out just how much of a necessity is each and every purchase, as applied to each demographic living under each possible circumstance in each geographic area. Because obviously someone living in North Dakota needs a substantial all-terrain vehicle and a snowmobile, whereas the family living in Georgia doesn't. Or do they? Gosh, the efficiency of your plan is amazing! What could possibly get in the way of it being fair and quickly implemented!

That is an absolutely classic an attack of a straw man. Nowhere did the grandparent suggest such a massive bureaucracy to decide the necessity of individual purchases; he instead described a tax-free threshold. The number he later mentioned ($11,000; the official poverty threshold) or some fixed multiple of it would presumably be quite suitable.

But on second thought, if I were that specific I'd also need to give multiple moderations, because you've really run the gamut of dishonest arguments.

The grandparent made it quite clear that by "a flat tax discriminates against low-income earners" he's talking about their ability to pay for basic necessities, and even your example (taxes changing person A's income $10,000->$9,000 (aka poverty line - $1000 -> poverty line - $2000) and person B's income $1,000,000->$900,000 (aka poverty line + $989,000 -> poverty line + $889,000) supports that quite well if you'd care to remove the bizarre assumption that a burger-flipper has some unstated, untaxable second income and thus only needs his burger-flipping job for beer money.)

Re:Uh huh, sure you are (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#28363521)

I would prefer combining a steeply progressive income tax (say, 6% up to 100k, 18% beyond it) with taxes based on what services you use (with the exception of those that everyone benefits from or those that are too hard to calculate, which the income tax pays for). Own a car? You pay for the roads, not the person who only rides a bicycle and therefore might as well not be on the road with the insignificant damage he is causing. Smoke, drink, drive without a seatbelt? Pay for your own health care then. Leave appliances on during your six-week vacation? No subsidized electricity so you pay the bill.

When did Emliy Latella get hired by the IRS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28360457)

"Oh, that's different. Never mind!"

Norway already has this (1)

audunr (906697) | more than 4 years ago | (#28360781)

My employer pays for my broadband at home and have provided me with a cell phone that I can use for personal calls as well as business calls. For this I must pay an extra 2-3000 NOK (3-400 USD) in taxes per year.

Um ... yeah... (1)

HellYeahAutomaton (815542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28361749)

Isn't it a little late for April Fool's?

And, in true IRS-like demanding fashion...

I'll expect all of my paid-in cell tax for the past 15 years to be paid back with interest compounded at %12 per annum.

Yet another corporate tax break... (1)

hackel (10452) | more than 4 years ago | (#28362081)

Gee, it sure is swell that we have found yet another way to reduce the amount taxes corporations have to pay (since they can claim all of this personal usage as a business expense), not to mention giving these individuals a tax break the rest of us are NOT entitled to. What a great country.

You gotta love the IRS going after UC first (1)

mrchanman (1579053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28364197)

After countless resources wasted by the IRS and the University of California system, it looks like some sanity has finally set in.

Besides the fact that the IRS should not have enforced this law (much less choose another mostly governmental agency as its first (and only?) target), the sad thing is that there was some Congressional movement last year when the settlement between the two parties was first reached:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008078765_celltaxes29.html [nwsource.com]

I guess elections, eroding economy and the wars were all higher priority.

Of course, the victim in this case is the citizens of the United States (and the state of CA gets the double whammy) as we have all contributed to the IRS's audit process as well as the settlement/change in policy (which is looking like it is going to get changed back) by the UC system.

http://controller.berkeley.edu/policies/cellphone.htm [berkeley.edu]

I wonder how many hours were wasted in auditing, lawyering, administrating and...IT professional hours changing the systems for the new policy implementation...

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