So, here’s another great idea from George’s Obsequious Polesmokers. Let private collection agencies go after people who don’t pay their taxes so I.R.S. employees can find better ways to sacrifice small children and worship Satan or whatever it is I.R.S. employees do.
Plus it will save the taxpayers money. (Unless they owe money because they aren’t rich enough to qualify for a G.O.P. crafted loophole, bwahaha!)
The policy has been in place for two years now and as you can imagine* it is working exactly as the G.O.P. promised (via the Washington Post):
The Internal Revenue Service expects to lose more than $37 million by using private debt collectors to pursue tax scofflaws through a program that has outraged consumers and led to charges on Capitol Hill that the agency is wasting money for work that IRS agents could do more effectively.
*If you snort a lot of meth.
Since 2006, the agency has used three companies to go after a $1 billion slice of the nation’s unpaid taxes. Despite aggressive collection tactics, the companies have rounded up only $49 million, little more than half of what it has cost the IRS to implement the program. The debt collectors have pocketed commissions of up to 24 percent.
[Wait, it gets better – ed.]
Since the federal program began, the National Taxpayer Advocate, an ombudsman’s office within the IRS, has logged more than 1,500 complaints related to it. Taxpayers have accused private collectors of bombarding them with phone calls, or repeatedly calling the wrong taxpayer or sending notification to the wrong address. [Would that notification include information that a criminal could misuse? I’d guess … yes. – ed] Critics say the program has subjected taxpayers — some of whom owe the IRS nothing — to harassment.
A common complaint is that contractors do not explain the nature of their calls until they confirm a taxpayer’s identity. They try to do that by asking for a Social Security number, something many people are reluctant to disclose.
What? People not trusting complete strangers with their S.S.N.? They must have something to hide, get the John Torture Yoo Testicle Crushing Squad on the phone!
Jesus Snake charming Christ. The whole thing must be read to be believed. Especially the none-too-surprising bit where one of the contractors (a law firm) has all sorts of legal problems because they don’t understand the law. For now, I leave you with this quote:
“This program is the hood ornament for incompetence,” said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), a leading critic who has introduced a bill to stop the program.
The I.R.S. – Official hood ornament on the pResidential Hummer of Fail.