The IRS sends $5 billion in fraudulent refunds to ID thieves annually. Surely they have figured out how to help out those whose ID’s have been stolen? No. Jason Dinesen updates the saga of his widowed client whose deceased husband’s identity was stolen:
The good news is, the IRS has finally gotten its systems coded correctly to show that Wendy did file a 2010 tax return. They won’t be sending any more “collection” notices to her, and I don’t have to call the collections department every 60 days.
The bad news is, I now have to figure out how to deal with the IRS Identity Theft Unit.
They wouldn’t talk to Jason, even though he has power of attorney. So the IRS, rather than going out of its way to help identity theft victims whose tax lives are in turmoil, jerks them around. After promptly issuing the fraudulent refunds to the thieves, of course. But at least Doug Shulman’s IRS is doing a bang-up job of selling confidential preparer identification number information.
There isn’t much tax news today thanks to the Hurricane Sandy disaster. Some appropriate coverage:
Trish McIntire, Isaac to Sandy
In other news…
Richard Morrison, Chart of the Day: Income Levels vs. Education Levels (Tax Policy Blog)
Brutal Assault on Reason Watch:
TaxGrrrl, Why Romney’s ‘Tax Avoidance’ Strategies Don’t Deserve Criticism. Making the important point that tax planning isn’t somehow unsavory.
Patrick Temple-West, Essential reading: Fiscal cliff forces all sides to jockey, and more (Tax Break)
So government never fails? When Privatization Fails: Yet Another Example (Jim Maule). The difference is that when a business fails, it goes away and the assets are redeployed. When a government program fails, it just goes on and on.
Greg Mankiw, Tax Expenditure Fact of the Day
Sara Palovick, Avoiding the Self-Rental Trap (Double Taxation)
Paul Neiffer, Fiscal Cliff Example # 2
And a Halloween Buzz from Robert D. Flach!