Saturday, January 9, 2010

What is the difference between a "tax accident" and a "tax cheat"?

Last year I received a letter from the IRS.  In June of 2007, I broke my leg.  It was your run of the mill break and I spent five months in a wheelchair.  I wasn't able to live in my own home and my expenses shot up overnight.  I had a small stock fund that I cashed in to help shore up my finances.  According to the IRS, I underpaid my taxes on that fund by $213 and with interest and penalties I owed $269.  I mailed them a check.  But I steamed about it.  Am I a tax cheat?  Is Glenn Beck?  Politico:

What if it's Beck with a tax 'accident'?

No one has been less forgiving than Glenn Beck when it comes to Democrats with tax problems. Not just the well-known ones like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner but also less serious ones such as Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, whose husband only recently paid off $6,400 in tax liens on his auto repair business, and Nancy Killefer, who withdrew her nomination to be White House chief performance officer, citing a $946.69 tax lien on her Washington home.

Their tax issues are just one indicator of “a culture of corruption among some of the left,” Beck declared just last month in a segment on his hugely popular Fox News television show, in which he branded Geithner, Killefer, Solis and a handful of other Obama nominees “tax cheats,” whom he wouldn’t trust “with my children, let alone my children's future.”

Mocking the excuses offered by the nominees, Beck sarcastically intoned: “Oh, the tax thing, it was an accident. It was my husband's fault. I didn't do it, he did it. I didn't mean to do it. I was just working hard for the people.”

So what to make, then, of the fact that Beck has had his own minor tax problems over the past few years?
Well, here's what I make of it.  If you scroll to the second page of the Politico article you'll find that upon being notified by the IRS that monies were owed, Beck, or more accurately, Beck's company paid the taxes.  The shortages were due to the differences between tax codes in different states and Beck's company had moved to a different state mid tax year.  I understand that a mistake could happen and I appreciate that once the mistake was discovered it was immediately rectified.

Geither, Daschle and company didn't make a mistake.  They cheated and they didn't pay up until it affected their political careers.  It is a cheap shot for Politico to lump Beck, and myself, in the same category as people who take citizen's money to pay for their socialist programs but fail to put out their own money until it is convenient.  They didn't have accidents, they cheated and they are hypocrites to boot.

In fairness to Politico, it is pointed out in the article that our tax code is far too complicated.  Maybe Timothy Geithner will fix that.  Yeah, right.


kc said...

This is me, applauding you. ((((())))) Cheating and figgering out something went wrong - with a tax code that is thousands of pages long and with many contrary laws from one agent to another - are completely different and usually pretty easy to spot...unless you have an agenda.

Carol said...

Thank you, KC.

PS-how cold are you up there in Northern Florida?

kc said...

According to AccuWeather, it's 27. No WONDER the cats all wanted in & I nearly froze my little...well, whatever...when I went to get my laundry out of the dryer! I've been baking cookies to have an excuse to turn on the oven. MMM!!! Tomorrow, more cookies and turkey soup from the Christmas turkey. Cooking really works for staying warm.

How chilly did y'all get?

Carol said...

KC, we got down to 28 over night. It is currently 34 and 31 with the windchill.

I'm drinking a lot of hot coffee!