Facing the IRS: Step forward and look them straight in the eye
Make your own breaking news: No Tax Cheating!
Earlier this month, Catherine Rampell, The Washington Post Writers Group, wrote her breaking news story, “Tax cheating in the U.S. is on the rise.” She gave six compelling reasons that, on the surface, would lead one to believe that the average taxpayer is doomed and the new taxpayer will become a tax cheater. I know plenty of taxpayers who are truthful and honest, and proud of it. They have no intention of becoming a tax cheater.
What happens when so many people are tempted to just give up on trying to figure out what’s right? A lot of them just throw their hands up in the air and start making their own rules. But wait, you’re not part of that group. Smile, get focused, and look the IRS straight in the eye and do the right thing.
Here’s Catherine’s “list of six” along with my comments:
- Congress cut the IRS budget. The IRS can barely afford to start a tax audit, let alone prosecute corporations owing less than a mere million. Some taxpayers think the odds are pretty good right now that if they play it ‘low key’ they’ll stay under the IRS radar. This doesn’t mean that in a few years, when they’ve become quite successful, that the IRS won’t decide those past tax returns might be very interesting. No tax cheating. Doing the right thing now does matter.
- These same budget cuts have hurt the IRS Customer Service. So what? Do you really want to get your tax advice from someone in a call center who’ll probably just read tax code to you? Besides, my bet is you’ll end up in a queue wanting to scream “just shoot me, please, and get us both out of my misery.” Many taxpayers are googling, making their own choices, and often picking whatever looks good to them at 2:00 a.m. My advice? Get some sleep and call me in the morning.
- Everybody does it. Probably seems that way, and a lot of people are just plain mad. Some feel like others pay too little; others think nobody pays their fair share; and a whole lot of folks think they pay way too much. What do I think? You’re not everybody else.
- Declining trust in the government. Nobody wants to contribute a penny more than the law actually requires. Trick here is knowing the law and how it applies to you. Ignorance could be considered tax cheating. Of course, getting involved and helping build a trustworthy government isn’t a bad idea either.
- The tax code gets more complicated every year. It was the younger President Bush who said the tax code must be at least a million pages long. Maybe, if we counted re-writes, edits, and trash basket dunks. The tax code is about 80,000 pages and what is law in November could be changed in December. That happened last year.
- The rise of the gig economy. Gig often brings to mind great music on a small stage; but today gig also describes a cyber platform for previously unheard-of forms of commerce. If you’re a small business owner with a great gig, here’s my advice: establish an ongoing, open relationship with your CPA tax consultant. That’s me.
- Go with your instinct. Be the best employee, a great small business owner, the big business magnate, or the coolest “gigger” in town. (Did I just coin a new word?)
- Do you best
- Be honest
- Know your CPA tax consultant personally; first name, both ways
- Be prepared for success in your personal and business life, and
What’s the bottom line?
Let’s talk. Together we’ll make great plans for your success. Call us. 479-478-6831
And to quote something our grandparents (or the old folks) would say, “Would you jump off a cliff just because everybody else was doing it?”
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