Chapter 8

(Almost) Unfettered Collection Enforcement – The IRS or the Mafia…Which is Nicer?

“The IRS must love poor people. They made so many of them.” -Will Rogers

Believe it or not, this chapter will not serve as a forum for bashing the IRS and other governmental authorities for being diligent in carrying out the enforcement of tax codes and laws. At least, not until we give these entities suitable praise for performing a difficult (actually, literally impossible) task.

Our country, our states, our cities, our police departments, our schools, our military, our water supply, our safety from abuse from mercenary businesses…all require the successful collection of monies derived from the collection of taxes, fines, judgments, levies, etc.

The force of people available to perform this service is woefully inadequate and funded to fill that need. There are roughly only 85,000 IRS personnel – a decline of almost 1/3 over the past twenty years, to handle 130,000 tax returns. As of 2004 statistics, only 534,392 tax liens were placed, 440 seizures, and only nine audits per 1,000 returns.

My guess, anticipating the contributions to be made by WOAA readers, that most will complain about the zealousness – but not the need for – tax collectors. We shall see.

Oh yes – not to forget “Vinnie” (with stereotyping apologies to my Italian friends).

The term Mafia is mostly used today to describe those organizations that demonstrate greed, avarice and callous disregard for the welfare of their “clients.” Personally, I would include payday lenders, certain credit card issuers, loan sharks, mortgage brokers, wall street biggies, debt purchasers, and many of America’s major banks. (These latter have their own chapter devoted to them in WOAA.)

With those thoughts setting the stage, I invite your submissions.