Tag Archives: IRS

“U” i USA står nog för U-land

Döm själva. Skatteverket skickar ut ett kravbrev i vilket det påstås att ett företag i somras deklarerat att de för 2 år sedan hade en anställd för vilken de är skyldiga arbetsgivaravgifter, avgifter som företaget inte betalat in. De kräver dels den påstått självdeklarerade arbetsgivaravgiften, dels ränta, och dels straffavgift för att deklarationen kom in 2 år för sent.

Företaget kontaktar skatteverket och talar om att de inte har sänt in någon sådan deklaration. De hade nämligen ännu inga anställda vid den tid det gäller. Skatteverket nonchalerar skrivelsen och hotar med inkasso.

Företaget ringer då skatteverket och ber att få se den deklarationsblankett som de påstår sig ha fått. Men för att få se det bevis som skatteverket påstår sig ha för företagets skuld, måste företaget betala en avgift till skatteverket.

Det är Kafka-likt. Tänk dig att du är anklagad för fortkörning fast du vet att du kröp fram. Du vet att polisen har bevis för din oskuld, men för att få tillgång till de bevisen måste du betala polisen. Ren utpressning. Maffian hade inte kunnat organisera USAs skatteverk bättre.

Det är inte att undra på att USA håller på att gå käpprätt åt helvete. Vare sig det är galopperande inkompetens, eller det faktiskt är maffian som organiserat den federala byråkratin, så är det oroväckande för framtiden.

I USA kritiseras gärna FN för sin byråkrati, men min personliga erfarenhet är att FNs byråkrati är ett under av effektivitet jämfört med USAs byråkrati. Kanske beror på att FN fungerar på ett mycket svenskt sätt – vilket jag misstänker hänger ihop med Dag Hammarskjölds insats. En välfungerande byråkrati är maffians värsta fiende. Månne det är orsaken till att den organiserade brottslighet som infiltrerat USAs etablissemang hatar FN så hjärtligt?

Runaway incompetence in IRS

Since a little over a year I have been shocked over the extreme level of incompetence that I have encountered in IRS, the US tax agency. It started when they lost a form I sent them. Since they received the second form that was in the same envelope, I think we can be pretty sure it was IRS, and not USPS, who lost it.

After getting a request for the form some 2 months later, I sent in a copy, but due to an error in the copy printed from a file, I had to amend it. The problem with IRS seems to be that the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing, and neither hand is connected to any sort of brain.

What happened is that they kept sending out requests for that form, and then for other forms, and over and over, from different offices. After a while they sent out statements that I owed them money, then a new letter came a few days later saying I didn’t owe them, and then I supposedly owed them again, and so on. Apparently, it took so long for them to process correspondence that their response was totally out of sync with the paper trail.

And here is my most damning criticism. When they do send out a claim, they fail to provide any sort of calculation or reference to the paper trail.

This is a deadly sin in any bureaucracy.

There is just no defense for it.

It is this incompetence that causes the entire problem. Let me give you an example. Today I got a letter saying that what I paid for a certain period was $355 less than what I filed for that same period. The letter did not mention neither how much I supposedly paid, nor how much I supposedly filed for, just the difference of $355.

It is beside the point that I neither paid nor filed for that period, what drives me nuts is that IRS sends out these anonymous letters without providing the necessary information for the taxpayer to be able to assess the validity of the claim, and respond to it.

Also, the letter is completely anonymous. Not even the initials of a person authorizing it. Could it be because nobody wants to be associated with it, knowing full well that it is fraudulent?

There is definitely a fish buried in IRS. Reforming USA might well start with reforming IRS (and the tax code). Most of the employees could surely be fired. They are obviously too incompetent to keep on taxpayers’ salary anyway.

Joseph Stack’s beef with the tax law of the USA

The engineer who flew his plane into IRS, thus killing at least one person on the ground apart from himself, had a concrete complaint. I just heard Rachel Maddow say that she couldn’t find anything concrete in his posting. Well, I could. Check the conference committee report on IRS section 1706, the amendment of 1978.

Basically, it is about if a worker should be counted as an employee or an independent contractor (in Swedish: anställd eller egen företagare). What that amendment did was to say that engineers and some other professions should never be considered independent contractors. That’s kind of harsh, but now to the part that is mind-boggling: Even if they work for another corporation they are to be considered an employee of the hiring corporation (provided that they control the corporation they work for). This was Joseph’s beef.

Consider this example. Company A hires company B to do a job, and company B subcontracts company C to provide engineer D to carry out the services. Company C may have thousands of employees, but it is owned by engineer D, so he controls it. Therefore company B must pay taxes for D as if he was an employee.

What happens is of course that the overhead of company C gets slapped with personal income tax and social security fees! Of the little that is left, company C must then pay its corporate taxes, its staff, their income taxes, their social security fees, and its capital gains taxes.

The result I would expect from this tax provision is of course the death of the small engineering firm in the US. I came here in 2002, when this draconian law had been doing its work for almost a quarter of a century. I soon noticed that there was no point in looking for engineers here. Much better to turn to Sweden for such services. And now I think I may know why. This law may effectively have pulled the rug from under US entrepreneurship, but it has not affected the ability of foreign engineering suppliers to compete on the US market.

This is an “aha-experience.” I did not know about this rule (as it doesn’t affect me), but it may potentially explain A LOT when it comes to why the US has lost its economical leadership in the world. Yes, “has” lost. The full effect of the downturn of the US industry has not yet been seen, as it will continue for years due to the lack of engineers and entrepreneurs in the technical fields, but the pole position is surely lost.

Returning to the law, it violates basic common sense and decency. A corporation is a legal person and this personhood must be respected by the tax code. The amendment mentioned violates the personhood of company C. Thereby it also violates the rights of person D to freely engage in business. I would think there might be a good case to be made for this violating person D:s civil rights, and indeed human rights.

Too bad Joseph Stack is dead, as I would have wanted to see this go through the legal system to the highest level in the US – and internationally if need be. This really sticks out as a nail in the eye of the “land of the free.”