More Debits & Credits Posts

IRS Tells the Tale of the Topsy Turvy Grandma

November 1, 2010

The Internal Revenue Service has posted an online video series known as “Tax Tales,” complete with creepy-sounding music.

The series, originally shown during last summer’s IRS Tax Forums, spotlights various technical areas in the tax laws related to the Earned Income Tax Credit that could be prone to error, with the help of actors playing a tax preparer and his clients, and lots of private eye atmosphere. The series, also referred to as “EITC Due Diligence Videos,” can be found here. The videos are intended to support the IRS’s online due diligence training module found on EITC Central.

I tried to watch the first of the Tax Tales videos, entitled “The Case of the Topsy Turvy Grandma,” which was supposed to explain the AGI tie breaker rule by examining whether the adjusted gross income of the topsy turvy grandma in question, Alice Jackson, and her residency actually met the requirements for her to be able to claim the EITC.

The Topsy Turvy Grandma

Unfortunately the video kept stopping and starting, so either there are some bandwidth issues on the IRS’s video site or the server was hit with overwhelming demand from other web surfers who couldn’t wait to watch the tale of the topsy-turvy grandma. Eventually the video managed to buffer to the point that I was able to watch the rest of it.

Other tax tales, including “The Case of the Missing Ledger,” “The Case of the Unclear Aunt,” and “The Case of the Unexpected Double,” had similar bandwidth issues.

The hero is someone called The Preparer who investigates whether various troublesome clients actually qualify to be able to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit, or if their records would hold up to IRS scrutiny.

Perry Mason it’s not, but as long as the IRS can fix the technology glitches, hopefully the videos will turn out to be entertaining and informative for online visitors who somehow missed out on the tax forums last summer, or who just want to revel in watching the repeats.

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