Did you hear what the IRS just said? They intend to go after tax cheats by easing up on their audits of us ordinary folk and concentrating on the wealthy taxpayers that they suspect are hiding income from their businesses. Aha! And, what's that supposed to mean? Are they now going to crack down on all those abusive tax schemes, tax shelters, offshore accounts, and the like? Does that mean I have to extract the $4.95 I have in an unnamed Swiss bank account?
According to Charles Rossotti, the IRS czar, this new policy is to "protect the crown jewel, which is the fairness and faith the honest taxpayer has in the system." Excuse me. We now have crown jewels?
So, where does the government draw the line? The Service says it is talking about people in the $100,000+ category. I beg your pardon. Do you think a family of two wage earners who together make $100,000 and have four kids to feed, a mortgage on their house, a car with payments, and perhaps a sick parent, really has an offshore account that has to be monitored?
For a long time, it's been the working poor who were getting audited more often than the high rollers. Ridiculous!
Consider this. The rich (and we have yet to define that word) pay the lion's share of the nation's income tax bill. In other words, the wealthiest five percent pay more than half the taxes, says the IRS, while people in the bottom half pay only four percent.
What's wealthy anyway? That word goes back to the 15th century and simply means extremely affluent. It's from the Middle English, if you haven't already guessed, and who was wealthy anyway in the 15th century? Heck, in the town of Woodstock, England, the high rollers left estates of around ₤600. You know what that is worth today? Bupkus!
So we go back to our beloved IRS. They tell us that recent statistics reveal some 6.3 million taxpayers are in the top five percent with average incomes of $121,000 a year. You know what that means. Two spouses could each earn a bit over $60,000 and be considered among the nation's richest and these are the people who are going to get smoked? Really now. And the wealthiest one-percent are those earning $300,000 and up.
Listen, there is rich and there is rich. Would you say the family with $300,00 in that one percent should be considered the same as the family with $300 million?
Rossotti says, "People who make more than $100,000 pay more than 60 percent of the taxes and we need to focus there."
Okay, you want to focus. Take a closer look at those Americans who have credit cards from offshore banks. See what's going on there. Also, take a peek at various abusive tax schemes and perhaps scrutinize more of the people in that highest of the high income bracket because as Mr. Rossotti claims, "They have more of a veneer of legitimacy." Yeah, let's see what's under that veneer.
But for the bulk of us, let our people go.
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