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You, The Hunted

Posted June 26, 2024

Sean Ring

By Sean Ring

You, The Hunted

There you are, minding your own business. It’s a sunny day, and the kids are home. You decide to spend some quality time with them while catching some rays.

You inhale deeply through your nose, imbibing the fragrant scents of your flower garden. You exhale mightily, releasing all the negative energy.

Then, you walk over to your freezer to take out the hot dogs and hamburgers you plan to barbecue for a big lunch. You tell your wife not to worry about dinner. Lunch will be so big she won’t need to cook dinner.

Days like this are special. But what makes them even better is that it’s a weekday. You like relaxing in the middle of a workweek.

You don’t want to waste a minute of it. You run upstairs, get on your swimming trunks, and walk downstairs. You pick up the newspaper, look at it, and then put it back down. “Today is a book day,” you think to yourself.

You get your favorite float and gently place it in the swimming pool. The kids, the teenagers they are, won’t be up for another hour or two. So you’ve got time to escape. It’s been a long time since you’ve read The Hunt For Red October, so you’re quietly excited.

You’re about to gingerly plop your butt on the float, and then… BUZZ!

“Who can that be?” you think to yourself as you get out of the pool, annoyed, wipe yourself down and hurry to the front door. It must be Amazon or something…”

You open the door and look into the standard-issue government sunglasses.

Your brow furrows. The sunglasses, obligatory American flag lapel pin, rolled-up khakis over burgundy penny loafers, striped tie, and short-sleeved white dress shirt can mean only one thing.

As the bile rises in your throat, the gentleman – and I use that term loosely – says, “Good morning, Sir. My name is Ebeneezer Marley, and I’m with the IRS. We have reason to believe that you underpaid your taxes last year by some distance. May I come in?”

You’d rather stick your fist in his face, but you inhale, calm yourself, and invite the agent in, all while knowing your day is ruined.

As Reported in 2021…

You don’t hire 88,000 IRS agents to go after rich people. You hire that many to go after the gig economy workers, freelancers, and the middle class.

From a Rude edition titled “Terraforming America With Your Tax Dollars,” way back in 2021, I wrote:

Under this new plan, banks and other payment providers would be required to tell the IRS how much money came into and out of individuals' and businesses’ accounts each year, going far beyond the existing reporting of interest income.

If this doesn't give you the willies, I don’t know what will.

Not only that, but the IRS would increase its enforcement staff by 15%. Allegedly, the plan would collect roughly $700 billion over ten years that would be otherwise uncollected.

Three years later, the disaster is even worse than I thought it would be.

What’s Happening Now?

According to Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics (bolds mine): 

The government has become desperate for funding, seeking out money from their own citizens through taxation. Not only have they raised taxes for every bracket, but the IRS managed to squeeze more money out of Americans through audits for fiscal year 2023 than any year on record. In fact, the IRS shook down Americans for an additional $7 billion in tax penalties alone – a 300% increase from FY22.

Armstrong went further:

The average penalty for underestimating taxes was around $150 in 2022. This year, the average penalty was around $500.

The IRS also ramped up its campaign to fine anyone who missed the tax deadline. Late payment fees increased to $485 or 100% of the tax owed if that amount is less.

The penalty for underpayment rose in the past year from 3% to 8%. There is no grace for those who cannot afford to pay their due amount, as the IRS charges interest on all payments that are not made in full. Those who intentionally disregarded their payments faced a $630 penalty or 10% of the amount owed.

In the movie Wall Street, Charlie Sheen’s character Bud Fox joked, “I'm tapped out. American Express has got a hitman looking for me.”

This time, it looks like the USG has real hitmen looking for anyone who’s even slightly late.

What Can You Do?

Here’s a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from All The President’s Agents:

Seek Professional Help: Even if your tax situation is simple, it’s wise to seek advice from a certified public accountant or a tax attorney. They know what you can deduct and what you can’t. It’s worth paying the fee to learn how to become more tax-efficient.

Stay Organized: Keep accurate records of your income, deductions, and credits. Maintain all necessary documents, such as receipts, invoices, and forms, for at least seven years. Even if you start today, you can use your phone’s camera to take pictures of your receipts. I use FreshBooks and take photos of my receipts so my accountant can see them immediately.

File Accurately: If you hire a tax professional, they’ll take care of this for you. They will ensure your tax returns are complete and correct. This gives you a big layer of protection.

Meet Deadlines: Again, a tax professional will file your tax returns and remind you to make payments on time to avoid penalties and interest.

Understand Your Rights: Familiarize yourself with the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, which includes the right to be informed, the right to quality service, and the right to challenge the IRS's position and be heard. But if you hire a tax professional, this won’t be an issue.

Wrap Up

The IRS has put a big target on everyone’s back. No one is immune.

But with a few simple steps, you can immunize yourself from any of their nonsense.

The tax code is so complex these days that it’s always worth hiring a professional to guide you to safety.

In the meantime, get organized so you can answer any questions the tax professional may have so he can do his job properly.

Stay safe out there.

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