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IRS Wants... To Pay You?
Nina Olson, the U.S. Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, releases a report every year filled with all the ways the IRS screws you over (other than making you pay taxes) and how that ought to be fixed. She's a really lovely, smart woman and pretty much no one ever listens to her. This year, she's got a brilliant idea: if the IRS audits the shit out of you and can't find anything because you're totally innocent, they should give you some money to make up for that. No, seriously, that's what she said!
This year's report says that some thousands of innocent taxpayers get rodgered every year by the IRS and ought to be compensated for the government's failings. Nina's total suggested budget for that is $1 million, since she doesn't envision compensating people a ton, but at least it's a cash payment to start to make up for how hard the IRS hammers people.
Also, um, the report kinda says that the Bush Administration's use of private debt collectors to recoup payments from delinquent people costs more than it recoups in taxes and that the IRS could hire more people and do a better job at it. Sadly, no one wants to get caught hiring more tax men, so that's not going to happen either, so go taypayer-funded collection agencies! They're fine, fine people.
Please don't come after me for writing this. I pay my taxes.
Taxpayer Advocate Urges 'Apology Payments' [NY Times]