Monday, January 9, 2012

Tax cheats

A few years ago I had a Realtor bring to me a Vietnamese couple who owned a liquor store in south Dallas, an area where I'm sure almost all transactions are in cash.  They had a large down payment, and drove a new Mercedes (the BIG one) and a new Toyota SUV.  I later learned the Realtor arranged for them a "no documentation" loan, more commonly called a "liar's loan".  That was an apt description as they only claimed to make, jointly, $13,000 a year.  Hmmmmm.

Just last week I had an oriental gentleman approach me about building him a new, very expensive home, asking if we could have a contract showing a sales price several hundred thousand dollars less than it actually was, with the balance made up in cash.  I refused.  I'm sure he was trying to document that his house was worth less than it actually was (to save on property taxes), or was trying to burn off some unreported cash income, or both.  Either way he was scamming the system, a system that is now in a deep hole, a system that us honest taxpayers are now being asked to sacrifice for.  I also had a man of middle eastern descent (?) recently propose something similar, too.  It seems many of our new immigrants are bringing with them  from "the Old Country" their casual attitude about paying taxes.  Just look at the troubles today in Europe, particularly in Greece and Italy, where tax avoidance is rampant. Believe me, it's not just "over there."

Last Friday the IRS reported that taxpayers here still owed an estimated $385 BILLION from 2006, that's net AFTER the $65 BILLION they collected through audits.  (That could amount to as much as $3-4 TRILLION in lost revenue over 10 years!)  In fact, they admitted they had a voluntary tax compliance rate of only 83%, and I would imagine its only gotten worse these last several years due to the troubled economy.

So let's review:  Our government is a TRILLION dollars a year short of break even, they're cutting back on everything from social services to military spending to paper clips, yet 17% of all taxes owed go uncollected.  Considering how much (probable) tax fraud I've seen right here in my own back yard, imagine how much goes on all across the land?  We're punishing the good, honest folks who pay their taxes on time by cutting back their services or threatening to cut back their Social Security, Medicare, etc, while the cheats are living the good life.  And don't even get me started on the massive tax breaks the rich have bought for themselves.  Grrrr!

OUR SYSTEM ISN'T WORKING!  No band-aid is going to fix it.  We need some extreme, deep changes.  And just replacing  a figurehead at the top isn't going to make a hill-of-beans difference.  The person at the top doesn't control the system; the system controls devours them.  Remember these words.  


  1. My middle eastern counter terrorist ops guy tells me we are pretty much the only country in which you cannot openly launder money. I'd call OFAC on those guys and have a file started on them.

  2. Definitely food for thought. Mrs. Chatterbox and I pay our taxes on time and always have, and we're proud to do so even though we clearly understand that the tax system in this country is grossly unfair.