Sometimes one is forced to take a step back to realize just how big the idea of federal taxes really is. This happened to me last week when I read about the IRS spotting $37.1 billion in crimes over one year.
You know, just a shade over $3 billion a month or so, no big deal.
So often we think about what the agency does in relation to our personal situation without realizing they are dealing with many millions of personal situations and when you add them all up, things pile up into giant numbers.
And also, it is only fair to give the IRS some credit when it comes to doing something about this. I am certainly no justice expect, but the agency reported an 88.4% conviction rate over the same period. When you take into account that some of these cases may have involved people eventually deemed innocent of the crimes, then it looks like a great percentage of those spotted who are guilty are having to face up to what they did.
However, numbers again come into play then when the story goes on to say that the IRS seized $271 million in assets over that same year. Now on its own, this is not a negligible number, but it is a precipitous fall from the $37.1 billion it started with. Now of course, a lot of that original large number involves people not paying what they owe and also not having the ability to pay it, so the agency can only do so much. But it just again goes to show how big some of these things we are discussing really are.
Finally, just how much the IRS has to deal with outside of worrying about these crimes was also brought up during the press conference discussing these issues. As Criminal Investigations chief Jim Lee said, “We are still dealing occasionally with the wildly inappropriate misinformation that’s out there regarding IRS agents being armed, which is quite frankly inappropriate and incredibly dangerous.” So let this also speak to another large idea of how we need to be careful concerning where we get information. I certainly do not want to preach blind obedience to the government, and thinking it only preaches wisdom from on high, but we should also remember it is not just a large entity but is made up of actual people who can have their livelihood and life affected by misinformation.
Connect to Us ~ Facebook ~ Twitter
To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.