Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Watching CNBC from my hotel room in Las Vegas this morning, the following deplorable ad ran incessantly:
Not paying taxes you actually owe is nothing to be proud of, even if ultimately lawful because you "settled." Deadbeat is as deadbeat does, even when the creditor is the government. The modern idea that it is creditable to avoid paying debts -- especially debts incurred to fuel consumption, like mortgages and unpaid taxes -- is hurting the country, not helping it, and ought not pass without objection.
You are right, they are deadbeats, I am personally upset at all of these commercials as well. Didn't the consumer receive this income, now they don't feel that they have to pay the tax? The tax bill was that much of a surprise? I wish I didn't have to pay tax on my income. As someone who works in a tax practice there are a number individuals who I have encountered that feel they are entitled to keep the NJ sales tax collected as well as under-report income.
On another note, regarding these commercials, I do find these commercials misleading. They do not breakout the taxpayer's complete liability such as: tax, accuracy penalties, and interest, etc. and what balances were reduced. It can give the viewer a false sense that these tax liabilities can be severely reduced. This is a moral hazard.
Maybe the Dodd-Frank bill should have regulated these commercials as well.
DTG in NNG
In addition, many of these "tax relief" companies require their fee up front (non-refundable, of course). They also can advise you to act in ways that will get you criminal penalties from the KGB...err...IRS (sorry, they're so much alike, sometimes I get confused). And many of them do little more than send the IRS a form letter or two. (Don't call Dave Ramsey's radio show and bring this up, he can wax poetic on the topic for *hours*)
In short, thinking you can get something for nothing, often leaves you with less than nothing.