Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the dead-...-beat-relatives? dept.

The Almighty Buck 632

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Just in time for the April 15 IRS filing deadline comes news from the Washington Post that hundreds of thousands of taxpayers expecting refunds are instead getting letters informing them of tax debts they never knew about: often a debt incurred by their parents. The government is confiscating their checks, sometimes over debts 20—30 years old. For example, when Mary Grice was 4 (in 1960), her father died ... 'Until the kids turned 18, her mother received survivor benefits from Social Security ... Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family in 1977. ... Four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. ... "It was a shock," says Grice, 58. "What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can't prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus."' The Treasury Department has intercepted ... $75 million from debts delinquent for more than 10 years according to the department's debt management service. 'The aggressive effort to collect old debts started three years ago — the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts to Uncle Sam.'"

cancel ×

632 comments

Over 18 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752755)

Since the kids were not over 18 - could the benefit received by the mother not be considered a contract between the govt and the mother and therefore since the kids were too young to be signatories how could they be held accountable?

Re:Over 18 (4, Interesting)

Fjandr (66656) | about 3 months ago | (#46752843)

The IRS doesn't recognize incapacity to make agreements.

Re:Over 18 (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 3 months ago | (#46752945)

because a social security overpayment is not a matter of contract law and so contract law is irrelevant.

Re:Over 18 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753001)

No, because the IRS is run by fucking Gestapo agents that only care about taking your money, any way possible.

Re:Over 18 (4, Interesting)

Skreems (598317) | about 3 months ago | (#46753069)

False. I made a mistake on my taxes 5 years ago and forgot to include a $17 capital loss. They sent me a letter saying they disagreed with my filed taxes, and that they owed me $17. Then a check. I was too lazy to cash it, and they've been relentless in trying to return my $17 ever since. tl;dr: they care about following the law, not taking your money.

This (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753181)

Same problem over a couple of dollars; turns out you can donate money to wildlife funds so I did that after they sent me the paperwork for it...I was then able to write that off the next year.... /I really with they would clear up tax law; it really needs it, 30 years of adding to it since the last overhaul

Re:Over 18 (1, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 3 months ago | (#46753109)

Presumably it is the estate they are going after, and as beneficiaries of the estate they are responsible for the debts of the estate.

Of course this many years later it is impossible to try and defend yourself, particularly as the law *was* that 10 year old debts disappeared, so you could destroy any paperwork from the estate from before 2003 or 2004, and now have no paperwork trail to try and defend yourself with (assuming you had one to begin with, given that inheriting an estate comes with inheriting whatever recording keeping was done, which may have been terrible).

Sigh... (-1, Offtopic)

niftymitch (1625721) | about 3 months ago | (#46752761)

Yet another reason to be Anonymous in all things.
This is really smarmy and needs to be investigated.

A more fruitful rant might be:
To leave feedback at FB:

"Auto play on mobile is just WRONG.
Mobile bandwidth is expensive and also
costs astounding amounts of battery life.
Just because google+ is worse does not make
it fine. G+ is disabled on my device FB is next."

Joke's on you feds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752765)

I'm an orphan raised in an adoption center!

Re:Joke's on you feds (4, Funny)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 3 months ago | (#46752815)

I'm sorry, the center you were raised at has unpaid tax bills. They've since shut down so we're recovering all debts from the orphans.

This happened to my wife (5, Interesting)

srwood (99488) | about 3 months ago | (#46752773)

We had a $186.00 deducted from our tax refund this year for social security. Having never collected social security we called the SSA and was informed that the social securities benefits my wife received as a teen following the death of her father were overpaid as she had a part-time job at a pharmacy and they had deducted the amount. Mind you my wife is 53 years old now.

Re:This happened to my wife (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 months ago | (#46752821)

FYI, they've cancelled the policy and are encouraging people targeted by it to contact them for a refund.

Re:This happened to my wife (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753025)

You fucking bet they did. Only because they got caught and the fucking shit bag Obama doesn't want to give people more reasons to want fucking kill democrats.

That's also why the backed down in Nevada. I expect after the election, the Executive branch will go ape shit crazy

Re:This happened to my wife (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753115)

Part of the reason they backed down in Nevada was the hundreds of protesters who showed up armed. Second Amendment rights in action.

Re:This happened to my wife (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753165)

The Feds prefer to kill people in small groups...like at Ruby Ridge. Waco is probably as high as they go at one time to prevent blowback.

Re:This happened to my wife (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753093)

They are encouraging people WRONGLY targeted by it... The IRS would ask his wife to prove she didn't owe the over-payment, and since she did actually owe the money (once the statute of limitations was eliminated) she has no case for a refund.

Re:This happened to my wife (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753139)

a link please?

This is what Republicans... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752775)

want for all of us. If we speak-up in anger at the horrible things they do, they will destroy us with their IRS. While the Democrats wrote the bill, they are not responsible for this horror. It was Bush that signed it. He had final responsibility to read and understand this bill. it is his fault. He fucked us. Expect every registered Democrat to lose their house over this Republican-driven attack.

Re:This is what Republicans... (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 3 months ago | (#46752793)

Do you have any teeth left at all after your knee impacted your chin?

Re:This is what Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752825)

I don't get it?

Re:This is what Republicans... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752841)

He is a Republican, and Republicans are white trash that do not take care of their teeth. That's why you always see racists with missing teeth. His kind is disgusting. As he admits, his teeth are falling out.

Re:This is what Republicans... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752887)

Do you have any teeth left at all after your knee impacted your chin?

I don't get it?

He had a knee-jerk reaction. GP implies it was so severe that his knee made it all the way to his chin and knocked out some teeth.

Re:This is what Republicans... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752831)

Yeessssss. Yeeesssss... let the childish, passive-aggressive comments flow through you!

Re:This is what Republicans... (1)

Berkyjay (1225604) | about 3 months ago | (#46752829)

Wow, I had just assumed that it was the recent farm bill when I read the story elsewhere. But what can you expect from the media these days?

Re:This is what Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752851)

So the people who wrote the bill have absolutely no responsibility for it? Um .. ok then

Re:This is what Republicans... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752901)

You go ahead and keep believing the false choice you are given between Democrat and Republican. Hint: There is no real choice you dolt, and it should only take about 15 minutes of study and contemplation to get that correct conclusion.

Re:This is what Republicans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752993)

You go ahead and keep believing the false choice you are given between Democrat and Republican. Hint: There is no real choice you dolt, and it should only take about 15 minutes of study and contemplation to get that correct conclusion.

There won't be much of a choice until the US electoral system moves from a Winner-Takes-All system [wikipedia.org] to a Proportional Representation system [wikipedia.org] -- you know, like a majority of the rest of the functional, democratic, voting world.

Good luck getting those in power with the ability to change the system to do so, however...

Bush Vetoed this, apparently (5, Informative)

Phil-14 (1277) | about 3 months ago | (#46752921)

I just checked Wikipedia, according to which Bush vetoed the linked "Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008" on May 21, 2008, and had the veto overridden the same day, by a Congress run by Nancy Pelosi and whoever was Senate leader then. (checking... oh, Harry Reid). While I am anxious to find out which Republicans did vote for that bill, it looks like Bush didn't.

If that's the wrong bill I'd like to know about it, since they seem to be linking to it in every story I see on this issue.

Re:Bush Vetoed this, apparently (1, Insightful)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 3 months ago | (#46753005)

Doesn't really matter what republicans voted for it, key fact is senate was DEMOCRAT controlled so they are the majority of ones that pushed it in to law so.

Re:Bush Vetoed this, apparently (4, Insightful)

Phil-14 (1277) | about 3 months ago | (#46753035)

The Senate and the House both were Democrat at the time. But I want to see the list of Republicans who voted for it too, because primaries are coming up.

Re:This is what Republicans... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#46753113)

The democrats wrote the bill yet they're not responsible? How about getting off your high horse and realizing that both parties are to blame?

Good luck with that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752791)

Enjoy my $11 refund government.

Ex Post Facto Law (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752795)

Just what good is a Statute of Limitations when it can be raised after the fact?
Can they lift the Statute on 40 year old Federal crimes and go out and arrest people?
And this is beside the fact that you are not your parents. Once you are an adult you are an individual.

It kind of makes sense...but it doesn't (4, Interesting)

Xoc-S (645831) | about 3 months ago | (#46752799)

Survivor benefits are paid to the children, not the surviving parent. The parent only get the money as the custodian of the children, and is supposed to use it for the benefit of the child. The parent doesn't report the benefits on his or her tax return. If the child makes enough money during the year to file a tax return, the child does. So the IRS is going after the party to which the money was given. But of course, it really makes no sense...the child did not actually receive the money. The child has no records of receiving the money, or of any overpayment and can't contest it. It's unlikely even the parent has the records. And it is implied that the IRS can try to collect money from whomever they can get it from, not just the child of record.

Late to the party as usual.. (4, Informative)

epyx (162239) | about 3 months ago | (#46752801)

The IRS has already stopped collecting these old debts, but let's not let that get in the way of a good political rant..

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ro... [forbes.com]

Re:Late to the party as usual.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752857)

God damn it, are you tellin' me I got my blood angered up and guns a-loaded for nothin'? Now what am I s'posed to be mad at, grazing cattle?

Re:Late to the party as usual.. (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 3 months ago | (#46752861)

So what? How about I go over your house and beat your face in. Hey, I've stopped now! Let's not let that get in the way of a good criminal rant!

Re:Late to the party as usual.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753117)

And they'll entertain appeals IF you can prove you don't actually owe the money - and it's not a valid defense to say it happened over four decades ago...

But hey, they stopped it going forward...

And they've already stopped (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | about 3 months ago | (#46752803)

They cancelled this policy [nytimes.com] almost immediately after it was brought to light.

Re:And they've already stopped (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752877)

They cancelled this policy almost immediately after it was brought to light.

I'm really surprised at how Slashdot's demographic has slid into Tea Bag territory. Sad.

Re:And they've already stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752939)

Just leave then!

Re:And they've already stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752951)

You're going to really be surprised when you learn about law and policy to enforce.

Re:And they've already stopped (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753061)

When you are some useless, smelly OWS cunt in his 7th year of college, you have no idea what it means when someone fucks with your money.

Seriously, why don't you argue that the IRS was right? I fucking dare you, you sniveling cunt. And, do it with your real login.

Dipshit. Fuck off and die.

Re:And they've already stopped (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 3 months ago | (#46753169)

Since when did "not wanting the government to surprise you with unsubstantiated charges for alleged benefits accidentally paid out over 50 years ago" suddenly become an extremist view? Last I checked, that's the sort of thing most people would consider common sense. And even if they are entitled to the money (which I think they should be required to provide evidence of, given how easy it would be to extort money from people if there isn't that requirement), they still should have notified people well in advance so that they could plan for it, rather than springing it on everyone after they had already budgeted around receiving their expected tax refund.

Re:And they've already stopped (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752931)

It's good they are going to stop. But I think the issue is that it had to be "brought to light". What kind of government do we have now that is collecting supposed debts from people who did not even receive the money. What if the government told you that you owed money for your neighbors debts, almost the exact same thing.

Oh wait they do its called Social Security, Welfare, Food Stamps, Affordable Care Act and every other government hand out that is subsidized by the ones who work to the ones who don't.

Re:And they've already stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753039)

Don't trust the government. It's best if the powerful are free to use the weak as slaves, that way there'll never be a lack of jobs.

Re:And they've already stopped (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#46753129)

As opposed to the powerful growing the government and using it weaken and then control the slaves?

Re:And they've already stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753089)

"Collecting supposed debts from people who didn't receive the money" - there's a word for that, it's called stealing.

Re:And they've already stopped (4, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | about 3 months ago | (#46752935)

No... they SAID they cancelled this policy, immediately after it was brought to light. if they quietly reinstate in whole or in part... who would be the wiser? :)

Re:And they've already stopped TODAY (1, Informative)

cirby (2599) | about 3 months ago | (#46752965)

Yeah, those darned conspiracy theorists, all crazy and stuff - complaining about a policy that was stupid and evil.

But now that it hit the news and EVERYONE said it was stupid and evil, the government has stopped doing the stupid, evil thing.

So those people are now wrong and crazy.

Until the government starts doing it again.

Re:And they've already stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753019)

But years after it went into effect.

Re:And they've already stopped (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#46753031)

This has been going on for a while. And while it's stopped right now, it's only under review.

This sort of collection should be limited to the actual recipients, and have some sort of statute of limitations.

Commercial debt dies with the probate process. It's not passed on.

Re:And they've already stopped (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753059)

Where did you see that it was cancelled. The law is still in effect and they are reviewing the policy. Nothing in the article says that the law was cancelled.

Re:And they've already stopped (1)

Livius (318358) | about 3 months ago | (#46753081)

The attempt reveals something about the IRS' attitude. That problem still needs to be fixed.

Re:And they've already stopped (2, Interesting)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 3 months ago | (#46753099)

They cancelled this policy almost immediately after it was brought to light.

I dunno. Are the 0.01%ers trying to figure out a new way to fuck over the middle class?

Since middle class wages have stagnated since the late '70s our share of the tax burden hasn't really been able to grow, and the rich have had their burden reduced quite a bit. So now we have massive debts. Gotta pay 'em somehow. I know, sounds kooky, right?! Look at the filial responsibility laws. [trustbuilders.com] Parent racking up huge debts to the state because of the care they need in old age? Think you won't have to pay for that? Think again [forbes.com] .

I expect that we'll start to see enforcement as a way to shift more of the tax burden onto the middle class (at least what's left of it). Banana Republic here we come.

Pocket change (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752811)

"The Treasury Department has intercepted ... $75 million from debts delinquent for more than 10 years"

Let's put this into perspective:

      $ 75,000,000 collected
$1,386,100,000,000 last year's revenue from individual income tax

Re:Pocket change (2)

Jody Bruchon (3404363) | about 3 months ago | (#46752879)

*dodge* Oh shit, I almost got hit by facts! Whew. (seriously though, great perspective illustration.)

vote GOP and your student loans will come out of y (0)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 months ago | (#46752813)

vote GOP and your student loans will come out of your SS, SSDI, welfare and more. Jail / prison maybe the only way out. At least then you get food, room and board , and a doctor payed for by the state then.

Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (2)

galabar (518411) | about 3 months ago | (#46752907)

Conservatives would eliminate government subsidized student loans. So, whether we agree or disagree with that policy, it would guarantee that the situation you mention would never come to pass.

Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753057)

Who controlled the House when this bill passed into law? Rep. Nancy Pelosi - at best you could call this one of the last examples of the two parties working together...

Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (1)

arth1 (260657) | about 3 months ago | (#46753185)

at best you could call this one of the last examples of the two parties working together...

What two parties?
Here in the US, we have one ultra-conservative party owned by corporations, with two wings who are badmouthing each other like two football teams. It's posturing and arguing over trifles - the closer they get, the more they posture and badmouth each other, to make the masses believe there is a real difference.
And the astonishing thing is that the American public buys it, wholesale, apart from some even scarier people on the extreme right wing.

Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753119)

vote GOP and your student loans will come out of your SS, SSDI, welfare and more. Jail / prison maybe the only way out. At least then you get food, room and board , and a doctor payed for by the state then.

So. you advocate the non-payment of self inflicted student loans??
What makes you believe you are entitled to something that is not yours...? ...oh yeah, it's a progressive thing ... right...??

Re:vote GOP and your student loans will come out o (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#46753141)

How about getting rid of the loans so that market forces force the colleges to drop their tuition rates? It should not cost $100,000 to go to college, but with the government 'guaranteeing' the loans, the schools just keep upping the rates every year.

The common day mafia at work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752823)

actually, the real mafia probably wouldn't sink that low.

Am I the only person... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 3 months ago | (#46752835)

Who has a deep and abiding desire to beat the shit out of every Congressman who votes for a bill without fully understanding it?

Re:Am I the only person... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 months ago | (#46753007)

That is all of them. Remember one of the nasty tricks with the "Patriot" act (apart from it's name) was to rush it through before anyone in Congress who was not responsible for drafting it had a chance to even see the first page.

Gotta pay the government bills somehow (3, Funny)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 3 months ago | (#46752845)

I don't agree with this tactic, but when congress keeps cutting taxes without reducing spending by a matching amount they leave the IRS with few choices but to work harder to pursue outstanding debts.

Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753047)

The IRS doesn't create the tax code -- Congress does. This is the IRS going rogue and doing things that are within its capabilities yet illegal.

Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about 3 months ago | (#46753055)

I have to agree. I tend to fall on the "reduce spending" side of things - but top priority should be balancing the damn books.

Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#46753163)

So you have no problem with a bunch of criminal thugs running protection rackets deciding they need to beat innocent people over the head for choices made by their parents half a generation ago? That's basically what's going on.

Today's federal government is like a 16yo spoiled brat maxing out her parents credit cards and then beating her grandparents over the head for refusing to give her more christmas money to pay the debt. They need to work within a sane budget like everyone else.

Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753177)

You _assume_, incorrectly, that decreasing tax _rates_ decreases revenue to the government. That is incorrect. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org] . We are on the outside of the curve currently and no one has actually found the peak yet.

Taxation (2)

damicatz (711271) | about 3 months ago | (#46752855)

I always make sure I never have a refund and that I "owe" taxes because the thieves that run the federal government simply cannot be trusted. All it takes is some pencil-pushing bureaucrat to decide that you were "overpaid" and they can steal your refund without so much as a trial, a hearing, or a chance to defend yourself.

Re:Taxation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752977)

Who said "yes you can" ?
Now we know who he was speaking to:
Steal money from the long dead poor parent?, "yes you can! If your the IRS just take it from the kids"
Trash hopes and dreams of unemployed by getting tax breaks by sending jobs off shore ? "yes you can, if you lobby with lots of cash!
Lose a few billion of hard working people's investment money to get piles of free tax cash for you and friends?, "yes you can.. if you lobby with lots of cash!
Bastards they are!

Good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752867)

As a taxpayer, I don't want people getting free money for the government at my expense. They need to pay it up in today's dollars - with interest. If your parent or grandparent abused the system, I'm sorry but it's time for you to pay up.

Re:Good (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 3 months ago | (#46752961)

Well fuck you to. No one should be able to be held accountable for crimes that precede their birth.

Re:Good (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 months ago | (#46753023)

Refugees get held accountable. Get born to the wrong parents and you get deported with them instead of citizenship in the place where you were born :(

Re:Good (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 3 months ago | (#46753073)

Pretty much. Even forbids it in it's definition of treason.

This isn't a crime though. It's mistakes that were made in calculation of benefits for dependent children, The IRS is trying to collect it from the people whom the benefits were intended.

The problem is lack of due process. Their procedures are very shoddy.

Re:Good (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | about 3 months ago | (#46752991)

As a taxpayer, I don't want people getting free money for the government at my expense. They need to pay it up in today's dollars - with interest. If your parent or grandparent abused the system, I'm sorry but it's time for you to pay up.

This is about taking money "back" when the government made an accounting error (not people that cheated or lied mind you) but not taking it back from the people they gave it to but rather taking it out of another persons return. If the government accidentally gave me $500 thirty years ago and I died after five years ago long after I spent it, would you be OK with them deducting $500 (plus interest and adjusted for inflation) from your return, simply because you happen to be a relative?

Re:Good (2)

jargonburn (1950578) | about 3 months ago | (#46753125)

If your parent or grandparent abused the system, I'm sorry but it's time for you to pay up.

I've never been a big fan of the "sins of the fathers" approach to punishment.
I have enough to do dealing with things I'm actually personally responsible for...I don't need to catch flak for shit I ain't done.

HA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752889)

I haven't filed a tax return in forever and a day. Then again, I also don't earn much and I don't ask the government for a single shred of help.

NeoLatvian USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752891)

First, they went after Latvia [youtube.com] . But no-one said anything, because most of them weren't Latvian. And only a few even "knew" it was south of Mexico, somewhere. Then they went after Greece ...

hahahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752899)

SUCK SHIT AMERICANS... why the fuck do you still live in that shithole...

Re:hahahahaha (0)

epyT-R (613989) | about 3 months ago | (#46753173)

as opposed to the socialist shitholes that just blatantly take 75% of your income?

Refunds indicate bad tax planning (4, Insightful)

eric31415927 (861917) | about 3 months ago | (#46752923)

A large refund is a sign of poor tax planning. You are getting your own money back without interest. In light of this story, you may not even get your own money back if the feds take it.

Arrange your source deductions and installment payments so that you don't get a refund.

It would be better to owe $2K each year than to expect refunds.

Re:Refunds indicate bad tax planning (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 3 months ago | (#46752971)

I usually get 40-80 bucks back, total, between feds and state.

Re:Refunds indicate bad tax planning (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 3 months ago | (#46753053)

Sometimes they just indicate bad tax laws. Part timers or seasonal workers getting taxed as if they are full time get large refunds in some places and there's no way they can plan around it - they just have to wait while the government holds their money at zero interest.

I see several issues here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752933)

First: that the Department of Social Security cannot prove the debt. (That, in itself, should be an automatic "repay what you took, and pay their legal fees.)

Second: that people have been destroying their records after three years, on the advice of the IRS. (This should mean that, given that the government has given them that advice, all government debts older than three years should be declared null and void.)

Third: that they're going after relatives of people long dead. (Who here, with deceased ancestors, has all of the records of that ancestor in their possession and knows where to look for social security - or, hell, any other government-related matter - records? Anyone?)

Due process has not been done, and has not been seen to be done. Unless and until the government can demonstrate due process, they should be held accountable for theft (which is what this is: I'm all in favour of paying taxes; that's the price of living in a civilised society. But claiming a debt when one is not demonstrably due, that's theft.)

Obama Care Gotta Problem ! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752947)

Let's not digress on the failure of the back-side and speculations of where the money from banks have been transferred to an account in Swiss Bank owned by Barak Hussein Obama.

A real clear fact is that the "7 million" "signees" to Obama Care cannot be covered by the 200 million tax payers in the USA.

Tough Tittie.

Obama, bless his Kenyan Heart, is working round the clock to snooker Europe into paying the shortfall.

Why should Europe pay ?

Thermonuclear Protection !

So very shortly the taxes of the citizens of Paris and Berlin and elsewhere in the EU, are going through the "roof" to pay for the 7 million dead beats in the USA and the money will actually be re-routed to the same Swiss Bank account owned by President Barak Hussein Obama.

Ha ha.

Re:Obama Care Gotta Problem ! (-1, Troll)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 3 months ago | (#46753075)

as a 30 year old health male that hasn't needed to see a doctor in 10+ years, WHY THE F should i be paying more cause obama care cause i am naturally healthy?

The US needs a constitution (2)

jrumney (197329) | about 3 months ago | (#46752959)

the result of a single sentence tucked into the farm bill lifting the 10-year statute of limitations on old debts

Why do you let your politicians get away with such bullshit?

Re:The US needs a constitution (2)

Frobnicator (565869) | about 3 months ago | (#46753011)

Why do you let your politicians get away with such bullshit?

You are mistaken if you think the people still (if ever) control the government.

No time limit != liability for debt (4, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 3 months ago | (#46752963)

Just because the time limit has been raised, that doesn't incur a liability for the debt on the part of anyone who isn't already liable for it. And generally children aren't liable for their parent's debts unless their signature's on the contract. The parent's estate might be liable, but good luck collecting from that once the estate's finalized and closed out. I suspect this'll be what any competent attorney will raise as an issue if the victims get one: "Regardless of anything else, this is not my client's debt and the debt being collectible doesn't on it's own make my client liable for it.".

There have been revolutions before (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46752979)

What will it take this time?

What's next, Debtor's Prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753009)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debtors%27_prison

Re:What's next, Debtor's Prison? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753079)

Oh yes, please.

why on earth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753033)

Do people pay taxes in advance?

On the other hand the measure shows desperation,
it might be that the treasure is doing worst than most realize.

Re:why on earth (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753133)

Why on earth do people pay taxes in advance?

The same reason people are happy to get a "refund" after having let the government effectively borrow money from them at no interest for the last year: Withholding tax.

Since taxes in the US are taken out of people's paychecks, they never really see the money. It's just numbers printed on a pay stub. People get used to and budget around their after tax net pay. So, since they never see their tax money in their bank account in the first place, it's easy for them to be happy at a refund as unexpected/unplanned/extra income.

If we did not have withholding tax- if the gross of your payment went into your back account and then you had to write a check (regardless of once a year, once a quarter, once a month or even weekly when you get your check) to pay for your taxes, then people would probably care a LOT more.

No it does not. (3, Insightful)

mha (1305) | about 3 months ago | (#46753147)

You misunderstand this move. This isn't about the money. A drop in the bucket, utter symbolism.

This is just one small story in many decades of more and more changes to the lender-debtor relationship. In economics I learned that one of the most important reasons for US capitalism's success was that, unlike in other parts of the world until that time where debtor prison and other nasty things awaited anyone who didn't, most often couldn't pay their debts in the US you'd be freed from your debt and then could start over and try again. The invention of the corporation (16th century) was when that movement started that debts are not eternal and that one should be able to try again. It still is true for corporations, but for individuals the noose has been tightening more and more not just in the US. There have been (economic) articles about a growing disparity between economic teaching and reality in the area of lendor-debtor relationship and power for a long time. The power has slowly shifted ever more towards the lender. This story is just one tiny brick in a big wall that was started being built decades ago.

...and so it starts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753063)

Welcome to Amerika, comrade, how's that hope and change thingy workin' out for ya'??

Wow USA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46753153)

Just another reason hate on the US, what is wrong with you people... the debts of the parents shouldn't be the debt of the kids. The kids aren't the ones who got that money to begin with. You're basically charging people just for being associated with idiots.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...