Because poor people get most of their tax dollars back (and some even get more thanks to the magic that is the earned income credit*), I have come to the conclusion as yet another Obama nominee goes down in IRS flames that only we schmucks in the middle remember to file with Uncle Sam in the spring, declaring all to the best of our mathematical ability**.
I so want to be able to find some shocked bone in my body about the trouble our new POTUS is having finding qualified help that understands the finer nuances of paying taxes like hired help isn’t exempt from withholdings even if they are illegals and/or just the babysitter you sometimes ask to spray tan your naked body. Or, my favorite, living outside the U.S. is not a tax holiday for its citizens***.
And what really puzzles me is how all this dodging goes unnoticed by the IRS. Since my first husband died (sorry to go all dead husband, you-need-therapy on you but it’s my frame of reference so bear with me), I receive yearly missives from the government where I am asked to account for the survivor’s insurance my daughter receives or verify my marital status and sometimes they just want to remind me that I personally still don’t qualify for widow’s benefits****.
Yesterday, as a matter of fact, the IRS sent me a letter informing me that at some point I received $26.74 more in refunds over the past couple of years than I was entitled to and that I should remember to declare this as income when I file this year. So while the IRS apparently notices peanuts and the peasants, it fails to notice when people like Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner have a two year gap in their returns. Does that seem credible to you?
And what’s worse is there is no backlash outside a few weeks worth of right-wing pundits (who probably have a Mexican nannygate like scandal of their own in the closet) gnashing their teeth and screaming like hypocrites about injustice. Oh the humanity.
It’s a rigged world, people. Rigged.
*BabySis used to get refunds to the tune of thousands every year despite the fact that she made almost nothing in terms of income. The EIC is voodoo economics at its finest.
**My math gene sent me running to H&R Block once I graduated from the 1040EZ form.
***It can be for Canadians though. They can have themselves declared non-resident for tax purposes while living/working outside the country. The U.S. won’t allow that. In fact, if you were to become a citizen of another country and renounce your citizenship, you would still be obligated to pay U.S. taxes for up to a decade afterwards. Resistance is futile.
****In the U.S. you basically can’t be employed and receive your late spouse’s SS and if you remarry, bye-bye benefits. Not so in Canada where Rob receives Shelley’s benefits regardless of income, age or marital status. She paid and he is entitled to receive. But their social insurance program is not quite the ponzi scheme that ours is.