IRS visits Sacramento carwash in pursuit of 4 cents. Seriously.

Surely

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
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Los Angeles, CA
From here: http://www.sacbee.com/2010/03/13/2604016/irs-suits-pay-visit-to-car-wash.html

It was every businessperson's nightmare.

Arriving at Harv's Metro Car Wash in midtown Wednesday afternoon were two dark-suited IRS agents demanding payment of delinquent taxes. "They were deadly serious, very aggressive, very condescending," says Harv's owner, Aaron Zeff.

The really odd part of this: The letter that was hand-delivered to Zeff's on-site manager showed the amount of money owed to the feds was ... 4 cents.

Inexplicably, penalties and taxes accruing on the debt – stemming from the 2006 tax year – were listed as $202.31, leaving Harv's with an obligation of $202.35.

Zeff, who also owns local parking lots and is the president of the Midtown Business Association, finds the situation a bit comical.

"It's hilarious," he says, "that two people hopped in a car and came down here for just 4 cents. I think (the IRS) may have a problem with priorities."

Now he's trying to figure out how penalties and interest could climb so high on such a small debt. He says he's never been told he owes any taxes or that he's ever incurred any late-payment penalties in the four years he's owned Harv's.

In fact, he provided us with an Oct. 22, 2009, letter from the IRS that states Harv's "has filed all required returns and addressed any balances due."

IRS spokesman Jesse Weller isn't commenting "due to privacy and disclosure laws."

Zeff says he's as offended as much as anything else by what he considers rude behavior by the IRS guys. While at Harv's, he sniffs, "they didn't even get a car wash."
Just wow. I mean, what were they thinking?
 

GFLPraxis

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,091
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And how much money was expended in pursuing $0.04?
From the article:
Now he's trying to figure out how penalties and interest could climb so high on such a small debt.
If I understand this right, the IRS agents are trying to collect a larger sum based on the interest and penalties on four cents over four years (since 2006), not actually four cents.

Ridiculous, but they can probably get away with it.
 

Surely

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
15,043
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Los Angeles, CA
From the article:


If I understand this right, the IRS agents are trying to collect a larger sum based on the interest and penalties on four cents over four years (since 2006), not actually four cents.

Ridiculous, but they can probably get away with it.
Yes, but how can 4 years of interest and penalties be over $200 on 4 cents?

Also, see this from the article:

In fact, he provided us with an Oct. 22, 2009, letter from the IRS that states Harv's "has filed all required returns and addressed any balances due."
Somone at the IRS should have done a little homework before they sent two agents to harrass a taxpayer. Or maybe they could have tried a phone call first.
 

MattSepeta

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2009
1,255
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375th St. Y
Yuck

Big Government.

"And how much money was expended in pursuing $0.04? "

Doesn't matter! What are we going to do if the IRS is operating inefficiently? Hire the other guy? Ha.

There is no competition in government, hence, the horror stories we hear of Govt and Govt employees wasting our money on crap like this.

And to think that Ron Paul was practically laughed out of candidacy.... Some day soon America will be ready for his ideas (hopefully) :cool:
 

Surely

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Oct 27, 2007
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This doesn't really have anything to do with big government.

It's all about the incompetence of these particular IRS agents and whoever ordered them to go on their field trip.

Why they couldn't analyze the situation and come up with a better, more cost-effective solution, is beyond me.
 

MattSepeta

macrumors 65816
Jul 9, 2009
1,255
0
375th St. Y
This doesn't really have anything to do with big government.

It's all about the incompetence of these particular IRS agents and whoever ordered them to go on their field trip.

Why they couldn't analyze the situation and come up with a better, more cost-effective solution, is beyond me.

You just proved yourself wrong.

You say it has nothing to do with Big government, then in your next breathe you wonder why they did not analyze the situation better.

Answer: Because it does not matter! They (IRS agents) are not going to lose their jobs. They are probably not going to be punished or disciplined. They are not losing any money personally by wasting their time/our money.
 

BittenApple

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2008
999
499
Still no.

Dumbasses ≠ Big Government
Big government is inefficient (at least in this case). Inefficiency leads to the people employed by the government to become inefficient (by not thinking straight and finding the most reasonable way to approach this problem, they are inefficient, in this they case they are also dumb asses).
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,058
1,183
5045 feet above sea level
Big government is inefficient (at least in this case). Inefficiency leads to the people employed by the government to become inefficient (by not thinking straight and finding the most reasonable way to approach this problem, they are inefficient, in this they case they are also dumb asses).
Uh what? Your logic makes no sense
 

Knowlege Bomb

macrumors 604
Feb 14, 2008
6,528
2,264
Madison, WI
Yes, but how can 4 years of interest and penalties be over $200 on 4 cents?
Late fees/penalties for delinquency are going to be the same amount for $.04 as they are for $80 worth of debt.

Frankly, I'm surprised the outstanding balance wasn't more after four years of IRS late fees.
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
This is an interesting story, considering when tax returns are prepared all the numbers, including the amount owed, are rounded to the nearest dollar...
 

rhsgolfer33

macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2006
882
1
I was thinking the same thing when I first read the story.....
Yeah, definitely the first thing I thought, lol.

I guess it doesn't have to be from his actual return, it might be FICA for his employees.

Either way, a letter probably would have been more in order rather than a full on IRS agent visit. If I were him, I'd probably just pay the $200 to make it all go away; not much sense fighting it when your bill will easily exceed the $200.
 

Surely

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2007
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Los Angeles, CA
Too bad the IRS agents involved in making the decision to go after that guy didn't think that way in the first place. But yeah, I'd probably advise him to pay it instead of fight it as well.
 

SactoGuy18

macrumors 68030
Sep 11, 2006
2,737
242
Sacramento, CA USA
Penalties over a four cents bill. :rolleyes: Doesn't the IRS have a monetary tolerance amount for math errors like California does with math errors on the 540 series of state income tax forms?
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
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Uh what? Your logic makes no sense
What he's trying to say is that Big Government leads to a bunch of people trying to cover their (_!_). That's why they file requisition forms, repair order forms, damage report forms ad nauseum (in triplicates) just to have a light bulb changed out. In other words, Big Government attracts the epitome of inefficiency--bureaucrats. At least, I think that's what he's saying.:D
 

codymac

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2009
449
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What's even more comical about this is that we can round to the nearest dollar on federal tax filings.
 

Rootus

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2008
376
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Portland, OR
What he's trying to say is that Big Government leads to a bunch of people trying to cover their (_!_). That's why they file requisition forms, repair order forms, damage report forms ad nauseum (in triplicates) just to have a light bulb changed out. In other words, Big Government attracts the epitome of inefficiency--bureaucrats. At least, I think that's what he's saying.:D
Anybody who thinks that attitude is unique to the government has never worked for a corporation of any significant size.