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10 quirky facts about the IRS



Another April 15 has just passed. People who have filed their taxes can breathe easy while waiting for tax refunds. People who have not yet registered their taxes and have not requested renewal may be late to avoid IRS interest and payment penalties.

However, the IRS offers more than just collecting taxes. They do some weird things. The agency is more interesting than it looks.

10 The IRS uses obsolete computers to process your taxes

The IRS oversees one of the main revenue streams of the US government. Therefore, it is very surprising that the computers on which our taxes are processed are not up to date. They were made in the 1950s and still use magnetic tapes to store information.

Decades ago, every American has manually filed his taxes. For IRS employees, it was often time-consuming to check for fraud and errors. This changed in the 1950s when the IRS signed an agreement with IBM to develop the Individual Master File (IMF) computer software to speed up the tax process.

The software was able to automatically detect the differences between employer-reported and employee-reported incomes. In addition, current and past tax payments are automatically compared to identify fraudsters. If that was not enough, letters were automatically issued to taxpayers whose assessed taxable income was too low.

The IMF, however, is outdated. It was written in assembler programming language, which is not popular today. In fact, the IRS has more problems setting programmers to wait the code every year. The IRS has proposed replacing the IMF with the Customer Account Data Engine, but has not yet done so. [1]

9 The IRS offers only one-year deductions and credits for kidnapped children

For the 2018 tax year, the IRS increased the standard deduction and eliminated the deduction for personal exemption for relatives such as children. Previously, however, the IRS had developed tax exemption rules for parents of abducted children.

The IRS only allowed tax deductions for a child kidnapped by another family member. The child must have been living with the parent or legal guardian and claiming the deduction for half of the year in which the adolescent was abducted. (For tax year 2018, this rule will continue to apply if you wish to claim a tax credit for a earned income.) [2]

The parent or guardian was only entitled to a personal exemption for the benefit Kidnapped child for the rest of the year and not even a day after. The IRS stated that it could not allow tax deductions after the year of the kidnapping, as parents could only apply for exemption for the adolescent if they provided half of the child's child support. Interestingly, the kidnapper – even if he was a family member – could not legally claim a tax deduction for the child's maintenance because the kidnapper had the child illegally.

8 The seven million Americans (IRS) left in 1987

The IRS has not always required parents to provide their children's social security numbers in the tax return. Many parents took advantage of the gap and listed non-existent children as dependent persons. It was almost impossible for the IRS to recognize or even confirm if the children really existed.

This changed in 1987 when the IRS demanded that parents list the social security numbers of all dependent family members who were at least five years old. The scheme came into force in 1987, when US parents referred to 70 million children as dependent. Strangely enough, they had declared 77 million children as dependent a year ago. Where did the seven million children go? [3]

7 The Church of Scientology is said to have blackmailed the IRS to be tax-exempt

The Church of Scientology does not pay taxes to the US government, even though it has profitable sources of income. The IRS claimed that the church had earned $ 300 million in the early 1990s. It probably does a lot more now.

Interestingly, the Church of Scientology paid taxes to the US government for 25 years until the IRS in October 1993 suddenly declared it a tax-exempt enterprise. Before that, the IRS and the church had been long legal disputes over the tax status of the church.

The church said it was not a taxable institution because it was a church. The IRS insisted that it was indeed a company and that its income was taxable. However, the church continued to pay taxes as each court considered it a business – until the IRS in 1993 suddenly backed down. The IRS has never revealed the reason for its surprising change of heart.

Later it became known that the Church of Scientology was tax-exempt after it allegedly launched a strong blackmail attempt against several key IRS staff. Allegedly, the Church of Scientology commissioned private investigators to find out about IRS officials and their businesses. He may also have secretly funded some anti-IRS organizations.

In 1991, David Miscavige, the head of the church, met with Fred T. Goldberg Jr., the then IRS commissioner, and offered to bring several lawsuits to court. The church filed suit against the IRS for status to obtain the tax exemption. Neither Goldberg nor Miscavige have confirmed this.

The church said the meeting was spontaneous and denied that her private investigators had anything to do with it. The IRS still refused to publish the information about the meeting after . The New York Times relied on the Freedom of Information Act. [4]

6 The IRS has a detailed plan to resume tax collection a month later A Nuclear War

The IRS is so intent on taxing US citizens, residents, and businesses that it even sets out how to do so after an atomic Armageddon. As reported in 1989, the IRS has updated its staff handbook with information about the agency's response to a nuclear war.

This was during the Cold War, so the fear of an atomic apocalypse was reasonably understandable. According to the manual, the IRS resumes tax collection within 30 days of a nuclear attack. In the face of chaos, every employee will focus on this important task despite his position.

The tax collection efforts focus on areas where most taxes are incurred. The manual also mentioned that staff will focus on the collection of current taxes, as the widespread destruction could make it difficult to recover the taxes previously owed. [5]

5 An IRS commissioner convicted of tax fraud

IRS is the head of the agency. He should be the most lawful in tax matters, but that does not always have to be this way. Decades ago, Joseph D. Nunan Jr., IRS Commissioner from 1944 to 1947, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $ 15,000 for tax fraud.

Nunan's problems began in March 1933, when he deducted large sums from his bank (due to concern that the bank would collapse) and kept the money in his house. This money could not be traced. Later, when he deposited money with other banks, it was unclear whether he would invest new money or any of the funds previously withdrawn. In 1948, he won a $ 1,800 bet, having correctly predicted that Harry S. Truman would defeat Thomas E. Dewey in the presidential election this year.

With tax returns from 1946 to 1950, Nunan hid a set of fees that he had received from legal services he offered through his law firm. He neither declared nor paid this income. The IRS believed it escaped paying $ 90,000 in taxes for over five years. [6]

Nunan desperately tried to escape jail after his release. He claimed that the funds were not taxable, even though they were. He also denied that he was an expert in tax matters, even though he was. He explained that he got the IRS job just because of politics.

4 The IRS's taxes on crime

The IRS requires US citizens, residents and businesses to pay taxes on the proceeds of crime. Bribes, bribes and other funds from illegal activities, including theft and sale of illegal drugs, are considered taxable income.

The IRS also demands that thieves stealing taxable non-monetary items pay the appropriate tax on the basis of "market value". of the stolen object. Thieves are exempt from tax only if they return the purchased item to the owner in the year it was stolen.

Normally, a tax on illegal income would have fallen into the fifth amendment, which prevents criminals from punishing themselves. However, the IRS has covered this. Criminals are allowed to pay their taxes without indicating the source of income. An illegal drug dealer could simply list himself as "self-employed". [7]

3 The IRS has an armed detachment

The IRS criminal police is the armed division of the agency. Workers in the department call themselves "Special Agents," the same title that FBI agents use. IRS Special Agents use a variety of weapons, including machine guns.

From 2017 it was reported that the IRS Criminal Police had 4,487 guns and over five million rounds of ammunition. The IRS maintains only the arsenal to provide its agents with the necessary weapons when conducting search warrants and arresting suspected tax evaders.

It seems, however, that IRS special agents do not shoot their weapons often. Between 2009 and 2011 it was found that the IRS special agents fired their weapons 11 times by accident, more than the number of intentional firing of their weapons. [8]

2 The IRS keeps a list of violent taxpayers

Not everyone likes to pay taxes. Some citizens even reject these payments and may become violent when the IRS knocks on their doors. Violence against the IRS increased sharply in the 1970s, when radical citizens opposed to taxation targeted members of IRS staff and offices for terrorist acts.

Citizens who oppose taxation have attacked or kidnapped IRS agents. Some people who owe taxes have even hired killers to get rid of the IRS staff. Others have shot at vehicles in IRS offices or simply driven them. There were also a number of unsuccessful attempts to blow up or burn down IRS offices.

In 1991, the IRS submitted to the police and other law enforcement agencies a list of individuals whom it considered "potentially dangerous taxpayers". However, the attacks on the IRS continued. [9]

The attacks peaked in 2010 when Joe Stack flew a plane into the IRS office in Austin, Texas. Stack and an IRS agent were killed. 13 other people were injured. This was the deadliest attack against the IRS.

1 The IRS has a full page devoted to control instructions

The IRS dedicates an entire page to the publication of tax conditions on its website. The quotes seem to be aimed at encouraging people to pay their taxes.

There are quotes like "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society" by Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., "The power of taxing people and their property is essential to the existence of government" by President James Madison, and "Like mothers, taxes are often misunderstood but seldom forgotten," says Lord Bramwell.

There are also bizarre tax instructions, such as, "I'm proud to pay taxes in the United States, the only thing is – I could as well be proud of half the money. "By Arthur Godfrey:" Few of us test our deductibility unless you fill in an income tax form "by Laurence J. Peter and" Next to "If you're shot at and missed, nothing is really so as satisfying as an income tax refund. "By FJ Raymond. [10]

Men and Women, "was attributed to an unknown author." The best measure of a man's honesty is not his income tax return. It's the zero-point setting on his personal scale "by Arthur C. Clarke and" The Income Tax Has Made The Americans More Liars Than Golf "by Will Rogers.

For some reason, the IRS has made the best statement of taxation of all:" In this The world can not be said to be safe by Benjamin Franklin except death and taxes. "



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