Friday, September 05, 2003

It would seem that not only can the IRSS not convince a jury that not filing a tax return is against the law, but their help desk isn't that helpful.

"The investigators concluded that approximately 500,000 taxpayers who visited the centers during the course of the study, from July to December 2002, could have received incorrect responses to their tax law questions."

I wonder if one of those incorrect answers was, "Yes, you have to file a return & send us money"?

"IRS employees provided complete and correct answers to 45 percent of the questions asked by auditors, and correct but incomplete answers in 12 percent of the cases.
IRS employees told the auditors to do their own research in IRS publications (search) to find the answers in response to 12 percent of the questions, despite an IRS policy banning the practice.
Incorrect answers were given to 28 percent of the questions. The questions most commonly answered incorrectly dealt with the earned income tax credit, education credit and dependents.
The Internal Revenue Service (search) disputed the calculations, but agreed the agency needed to improve its record. Henry O. Lamar, commissioner for the division overseeing individual tax returns, said the accuracy rate is closer to 67 percent when the results are recalculated to exclude instances when taxpayers were referred to other publications or could not get any help."


I leave you with a quote from the works of James Madison specifically from The Federalist No. 62:

"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?"

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