Social Security suspends its ancient-debt collection efforts

posted at 9:21 am on April 15, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Looks like the Social Security Administration’s brief foray into long-term debt collection has come to a screeching halt. Responding to public outrage over the sudden demand for old past-due amounts from people who have no idea what happened, the SSA has gone back to its previous 10-year limit on past-due amounts:

The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.

The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to the Social Security agency. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt, and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.

Who thought this was a good idea in the first place? After all, SSA didn’t just decide to open the books all on its own. The 2008 farm bill passed by Congress lifted the statute of limitations on debt collection. Who inserted that codicil, and why?

It’s not just that amendment, though. The FTC notes on its website, as the Post’s Marc Fisher points out, that family members aren’t responsible for a relative’s debt to the government, and yet SSA tried to collect those debts from other family members anyway. Members of Congress erupted in outrage over the last couple of days — after constituents began demanding accountability for SSA’s actions. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) argued that SSA didn’t even follow the limits within that codicil by allowing for proper notification and by illegally seizing offset payments instead of processing the debt collection properly:

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that government agencies were apparently “not properly notifying individuals or allowing them to inspect records of the debt they supposedly owe, which are violations of the law.”

Grassley said that although Congress did authorize the government to seek payment on old debts, the law “says nothing about allowing the government to offset payments from an individual to pay debts not in his or her name. It is unclear where the government has that authority.”

Unclear, indeed.  What is clear is that by lifting the statute of legal limitations, Congress and SSA neglected to consult the statute of public relations limitations, and instead attempted to bully Americans with a shakedown. Congress needs to act to undo its enabling of this intimidation and restore the previous statute of limitations. If SSA can’t start a debt-collection process within ten years of an incident, then SSA needs better staffing, not more power to abuse.

Walter Olson hits this point at Overlawyered:

The next step should be to establish for the public record how the provision in question got slipped into the farm bill, and at whose behest. Congress’s refusal to be forthcoming on this topic speaks volumes about its lack of a felt sense of responsibility toward the people it represents.

And a theme I’ve been repeating for almost as long as I’ve been writing about law: statutes of limitations developed in civilized legal systems for a reason. They protect us not only from cost, uncertainty, and the misery of legal process, but from injustice of a hundred other kinds, and they protect society itself from spiraling into a legal war of all against all. Stop trying to abolish them!

If anything, the record-keeping and data-storage capabilities of the current age should argue for tighter statutes of limitation, not broader.


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Who inserted that codicil, and why?

And at who’s behest, as I asked in the headlines.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that government agencies were apparently “not properly notifying individuals or allowing them to inspect records of the debt they supposedly owe, which are violations of the law.”

This was the 2008 farm bill. When George W. Bush was still president, albeit with a Democrat Congress. And the federal bureaucracy can’t even follow the relaxed law. It’s not just having a marxist president who governs as a fascist that’s the problem. The entire federal bureaucracy is corrupt, overbloated, arrogant and out of control. It’s in need of serious pruning.

rbj on April 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Congress passed the freakin’ thing! Now they’re in a dither because it’s terrible law? I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Mr. Grump on April 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Every government agency is smelling blood in the water, our blood, and watching all the other agencies trample us with very little pushback and of course complete approval from Bark. It was natural that SSA would get in on the feeding frenzy, same with BLM, everyone wants a piece of what’s left of the rotting, weevil-infested pie known as the U.S.

Bishop on April 15, 2014 at 9:29 AM

The 2008 farm bill passed by Congress lifted the statute of limitations on debt collection. Who inserted that codicil, and why?

Could some lawyer person please explain how this doesn’t violate the ex-post facto provisions of the constitution?

oldernwiser on April 15, 2014 at 9:32 AM

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.

I note he’s said nothing about the individuals the government has already stolen money from. (It’s stealing, not debt collection.)

My guess is they won’t be returning it.

makattak on April 15, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Every government agency is smelling blood in the water, our blood, and watching all the other agencies trample us with very little pushback and of course complete approval from Bark. It was natural that SSA would get in on the feeding frenzy, same with BLM, everyone wants a piece of what’s left of the rotting, weevil-infested pie known as the U.S.

Bishop on April 15, 2014 at 9:29 AM

But there was pushback, which is why they scurried back in their hole. Same with the BLM. Same with Connecticut’s and New York’s ridiculously unconstitutional gun laws, that even New York’s county sheriffs have said they won’t enforce.

I think we’re going to see more pushback as time goes on. The liberal elites in the government class thought that 0′s reelection was carte blanche permission to walk all over us, and they’ve horribly overplayed their hand. People are getting fed up.

That goes double for leftist bullies and loudmouths who play the race card, the poor little woman card, and sic the gaystapo on anyone who doesn’t cheer loudly enough for their depravity.

CurtZHP on April 15, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Heh. Weevils.

Lanceman on April 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM

SCORE! for the Hoi Polloi

workingclass artist on April 15, 2014 at 9:42 AM

Could some lawyer person please explain how this doesn’t violate the ex-post facto provisions of the constitution?

oldernwiser on April 15, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Ex-post facto only applies to criminal law. You have Superfund litigation to thank for that S.Ct. interpretation.

rbj on April 15, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Congress passed the freakin’ thing! Now they’re in a dither because it’s terrible law? I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere.

Mr. Grump on April 15, 2014 at 9:28 AM

W vetoed it…and they overrode the veto.

workingclass artist on April 15, 2014 at 9:43 AM

When SocSecurity runs cash deficits over $70 billion,…

Given it was a “manager’s amendment”, there’s no way to know who slipped in the end of the statute of limitations.

Steve Eggleston on April 15, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Plus – the woman, Mary Grice, who blew the whistle on this comes from TAKOMA PARK, MD – a bastion of liberalness – and I wonder if the fact that this was possibly effecting lots of PROGRESSIVE voters may have added to the need to STOP this practice.

djl130 on April 15, 2014 at 9:50 AM

When SocSecurity runs cash deficits over $70 billion,…

Given it was a “manager’s amendment”, there’s no way to know who slipped in the end of the statute of limitations.

Steve Eggleston on April 15, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Three people, at least, know.

The one who’s secretary typed the final draft of the amendment, the secretary and the person who received it, either on paper or by email.

Its not unknowable, just a secret.

Pless1foEngrish on April 15, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Heh. Weevils.

Lanceman on April 15, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Hey, Lanceman, I didn’t see this (from the CA budget “surplus” thread)….

HA! I’m a BitterLoather! Where is BitterClinger? I wanna hang out!

Lanceman on April 14, 2014 at 9:13 PM

…until a few minutes ago.

Welcome to the Bitter family!!!

Bitter Clinger on April 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM

How in the freck are we to fund Utopia if we can’t screw the citizens…?

Electrongod on April 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM

So the 110th Congress, one of the most profligate spending in history, inserted a provision into the “Farm Bill”, excuse me, “The Food Conservation and Energy Act”, lifting the statute of limitations on government debt collections.

You have to appreciate the irony.

Marcus Traianus on April 15, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Members of Congress erupted in outrage over the last couple of days

Who voted for the bill?!?!?!

“Why read a farm bill, let’s go get drunk.”

Akzed on April 15, 2014 at 9:54 AM

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law.”

acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin

I note he’s said nothing about the individuals the government has already stolen money from. (It’s stealing, not debt collection.)

My guess is they won’t be returning it.

makattak on April 15, 2014 at 9:33 AM

.
My first thought, as well. There will probably be lawsuits over this.

listens2glenn on April 15, 2014 at 9:55 AM

The bureaucracy is a living thing. When it is thwarted in its quest for sustenance, in this case by the exemption from estate tax, it has many tentacles seeking another way. Remember folks, as Ted Kennedy liked to say, its all their money, the feds just let you keep a bit of it in their magnanimity.

Fenris on April 15, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Welcome to our future. The estates of folks pushed into Medicare or ACA welfare subsidies are subject to clawback. That’s the law now but in the past recipients didn’t typically leave estates worth chasing down. Not so the case now.

All is proceeding as they have forseen. Just a little faster and more apparent than planned.

skoot65 on April 15, 2014 at 9:59 AM

If I remember correctly, Bush VETOED that bill, but congress overrode his veto. That took folks from BOTH parties.

Tinker on April 15, 2014 at 10:05 AM

If you like your social security, you can keep your social security?

FadeToBolivia on April 15, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Guess who won’t be held accountable? Congress. Someone had to write that clause into the law. And someone has to know who did it. Do you think there will be hearings to investigate who did this, and, perhaps more important, why? Don’t hold your breath.

rogaineguy on April 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

Steve Eggleston on April 15, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Just for yucks and the last year I looked was in 2010. SSA funds borrowed from the general budget as follows (Total 326 Billion):

Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (OASI)—87.8 Billion
Social Security Disability Insurance (DI-SSD-SSDI)—14.9 Billion
Hospital Insurance (HI)–.5 Billion
Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI)—222.8 Billion
Total under funding from above—326 Billion

Bigger recap.
Receipts—P/R Taxes—759.9 Billion
Receipts—Taxes on Pensions—38.9 Billion
Receipts—General Fund—326 Billion
Receipts—Interest—129.6 Billion
Receipts—Other—80.7 Billion

Total Receipts—1.335.1 Trillion
Paid Benefits—-1,285.3 Trillion

Balance Sheet of SSA— 3,002.6 Trillion (Money owed by Taxpayers to Treasury to repay SSA)

Above numbers are off the top of me head, but I am sober this morning and am usually good with numbers!

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 10:11 AM

<blockquoterogaineguy on April 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

A Bain investor told me that Harry Reid inserted the language.

FadeToBolivia on April 15, 2014 at 10:14 AM

“In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said that government agencies were apparently “not properly notifying individuals or allowing them to inspect records of the debt they supposedly owe, which are violations of the law.”

Yeah, ’cause the government is SOOOOO scrupulous about following the law !

kjatexas on April 15, 2014 at 10:17 AM

So it’s still the law, but the IRS isn’t going to use it. I bet they keep it in their back pocket to attack Conservatives in the future.

cptacek on April 15, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Given it was a “manager’s amendment”, there’s no way to know who slipped in the end of the statute of limitations.

Steve Eggleston on April 15, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Ok, then I say we take off and nuke ‘em from orbit. Only way to be sure we get ‘em all! Time to start over.

Oldnuke on April 15, 2014 at 10:18 AM

The next step should be to establish for the public record how the provision in question got slipped into the farm bill, and at whose behest. Congress’s refusal to be forthcoming on this topic speaks volumes about its lack of a felt sense of responsibility toward the people it represents.

Ya Think?

workingclass artist on April 15, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Welcome to our future. The estates of folks pushed into Medicare or ACA welfare subsidies are subject to clawback. That’s the law now but in the past recipients didn’t typically leave estates worth chasing down. Not so the case now.

All is proceeding as they have forseen. Just a little faster and more apparent than planned.

skoot65 on April 15, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Yep

Most of the hoi polloi aren’t aware…But they will be.

workingclass artist on April 15, 2014 at 10:26 AM

The next step should be to establish for the public record how the provision in question got slipped into the farm bill, and at whose behest. Congress’s refusal to be forthcoming on this topic speaks volumes about its lack of a felt sense of responsibility toward the people it represents.

BING–phucking–O!

BuckeyeSam on April 15, 2014 at 10:31 AM

The Obama Administration didn’t want to collect debts from all the dead people who voted for them in 2008 and 2012.

Steve Z on April 15, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Also need a statute of limitations on NEW regulations based upon OLD statutes.

For expample: EPA re-interpreting the Clear Air Act and the Clean Water Act decades after these statutes were passed for issues that the original statute authors never intended super-empowers the Executive branch.

Carnac on April 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Plus – the woman, Mary Grice, who blew the whistle on this comes from TAKOMA PARK, MD – a bastion of liberalness – and I wonder if the fact that this was possibly effecting lots of PROGRESSIVE voters may have added to the need to STOP this practice.

djl130 on April 15, 2014 at 9:50 AM

I noticed in a picture accompanying the online WaPo piece that Grice is black. So you know damned well they’d need to do something about it. Another funny part about her situation is that the SSA sent “notice” to her at an address she had in 1977 even though the SSA has been sending her annual benefit statements to her at the apartment that she’s leased in MD since 1984. Oh, by the way, Grice works for the FDA.

Hey, and we’ve turned healthcare over to these clowns. Ain’t it grand? Meanwhile, the IRS can’t seem to halt the deluge of fraudulent income tax refunds streaming out at the rate of $4 BILLION A YEAR.

BuckeyeSam on April 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Guess who won’t be held accountable? Congress. Someone had to write that clause into the law. And someone has to know who did it. Do you think there will be hearings to investigate who did this, and, perhaps more important, why? Don’t hold your breath.

rogaineguy on April 15, 2014 at 10:10 AM

And that someone is almost certainly either a staffer or a bureaucrat. Congress doesn’t write laws anymore, they don’t even pretend to read them. A legislator’s job these days is PR and collecting payoffs.

Fenris on April 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM

The bureaucracy is a living thing. When it is thwarted in its quest for sustenance, in this case by the exemption from estate tax, it has many tentacles seeking another way. Remember folks, as Ted Kennedy liked to say, its all their money, the feds just let you keep a bit of it in their magnanimity.

Fenris on April 15, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Private Property Rights. What has happened over time and not many folks outside of HotAir, for instance, understand; is that future income is no longer our private property. Our current and future income only becomes our private property after the government decides how much we can keep after taxes.

It has sadden me for decades to see hard working Americans turn over their private property without at least understanding what is happening. Our ability to earn is no longer our private property. Without earnings, most Americans cannot build wealth and survive day to day, but most don’t even give it a thought. Oh well, guess I will earn my money the old fashion way…….inheritance!!! Wait, there are taxes on that also!!! Doomed I say….Doomed!! Chuckle!

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Bisop

Yeah, it must be what it was like to watch the Praetorian guard auction off Rome at the end

Where’s Alaric?

ginaswo on April 15, 2014 at 10:41 AM

I wonder which Fed agency’s armed agents will be tasked with collecting the “old debts”….or maybe they’ll just use Blackwater mercs like they used in Nevada.
III

Sgt Stryker on April 15, 2014 at 10:43 AM

When you shine a light the roaches scatter. We need to keep shining that light.

neyney on April 15, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Also need a statute of limitations on NEW regulations based upon OLD statutes.

For expample: EPA re-interpreting the Clear Air Act and the Clean Water Act decades after these statutes were passed for issues that the original statute authors never intended super-empowers the Executive branch.

Carnac on April 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Congress will never take back the power it has given to the Executive Branch because if they did; we would see their votes and it would be plain for all to see that most current Republicans are really Democrats. It is most of the Republicans who are afraid to show what is behind their skirts.

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 10:44 AM

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Yep, private property rights is an essential natural right if you want to have any kind of stable civilization.

Fenris on April 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM

the Treasury Offset Program

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Oscar? What another lovely little euphemism. Hows about a Treasury Offset Program (TOP, ‘natch) that includes STOP SPENDING, STEALING, WASTING and PRINTING MORE OF WHAT WE DON”T HAVE ANY OF?????

Nah, that wouldn’t work.

ghostwalker1 on April 15, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Yep, private property rights is an essential natural right if you want to have any kind of stable civilization.

Fenris on April 15, 2014 at 10:46 AM

In a nutshell, I joke that what we need for a stable civilization is freedom, private property rights, rule of law, beer, and reliable electricity. Would bring in morality and social stuff, but that takes the fun out of my simple mind and view of life. For many folks life is like a box of Chocolates, but when you get old like me life is more like a box of condoms—–one size fits all. Chuckle!

Oh, I like your posts.

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

The government under Obama and his “demwit” friends have been trying desperately to get at the assets of the people for years. They are after our 401Ks and IRAs. It’s much easier to do that than to control spending.

COgirl on April 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Welcome to the Bitter family!!!

Bitter Clinger on April 15, 2014 at 9:52 AM

:-D

Lanceman on April 15, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Balance Sheet of SSA— 3,002.6 Trillion (Money owed by Taxpayers to Treasury to repay SSA)

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 10:11 AM

What this really means, for those who don’t get it (and there’s alot who don’t) is this:

We sent money from our paychecks to the government (SSA), in addition to federal income taxes. Next, the Treasury “borrowed” those dollars to spend on whatever they wanted. The SSA was handed an IOU for the funds. Eventually, the SSA will begin to redeem those IOUs. Treasury will then reach into your pocket to extract money pay off a loan which was your dollars to start with!

It is no different than your bank loaning your savings to someone buy a car, and then demanding that you pay off that loan.

Its just bizarre.

BobMbx on April 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM

How far does this go 10th cousin twice removed?

Sven on April 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM

…beer …Oh, I like your posts.

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Thanks. I like beer.

Fenris on April 15, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Socialism requires a huge amount of money. They must be running out of ways to get it. Keep an eye on them. They will be looking for other ways to steal or extort.

crankyoldlady on April 15, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Its just bizarre.

BobMbx on April 15, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Thanks for the explanation as I struggled on how to explain. Also, our current debt is not 17.5 Trillion, but 23.5 Trillion (17.5T debt we all know about+ 3T owed to SSA+ 3T of bad debts sitting on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet). This is hard true debt that we as taxpayers owe to others, including ourselves. I think future unfunded liabilities (aka unrealistic future promises are around 150T). I just shake my head when some folks talk about intra governmental debt and that most of the debt is owed to our selves; as if that debt really does not matter. I ain’t all that smart, but I have a clue about why our dollar is being devalued and the causes of said devaluation.

Time to stop typing as my blood pressure is starting to rise.

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Who even thought this was legal in the first place? What bizarre, Kafkaesque idiocy. It could only be thought up by a government employee.

pat on April 15, 2014 at 12:25 PM

I posted the following in the Headline thread on the same subject. Seemed worth cross posting since the other thread has dropped out of view.

Congressional sponsorship of bills is a joke. Before any particular provision gets tossed into a bill, it should be traceable to a specific member of Congress. This is a phucking disgrace.

BuckeyeSam on April 15, 2014 at 8:56 AM

For the most part legislative language is quite traceable. The bill’s author is responsible for the bulk of the language. Now, obviously the author didn’t actually write the bill. He or she did so with the help of legislative staff, committee staff, leg council, and in many cases lobbyists. But the responsibility for the original language of the bill as introduced lies with the member who introduces it and is credited as the author. So that’s the first level of traceability. And by the way most really big and consequential bills are authored by full committee or subcommittee chairs.

The next level of traceability is at the committee markup level where committee members get to offer amendments. After markup the committee votes whether to report the bill as amended out of committee. Any amendments added in committee are traceable to the member who offered the amendment.

The third level of traceability is the amendment process on the floor. It is an open process so each amendment is voted on individually (although sometimes a group of amendments are voted on en bloc). Each amendment is offered by a specific member. If the amendment is successful it is attached to the final bill. The amendment language is traceable to the member who offered it.

So, yes, staff and lobbyists write bills and amendments. But the responsibility, and constituent accountability, lies with the member who opts to actually introduce the bill or amendment regardless of whether that author actually read the bill he supposedly offered. So if you don’t care for a particular provision of a bill, figure out where in the process the language was added and hold the authoring legislator accountable.

Texas Zombie on April 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM

“I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law,” the acting Social Security commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, said in a statement.

“Recover debts?” The highlighted 37 year old case that brought this to light was about an IRS error, wasn’t it? There’s no way to know for sure, but I’m willing to bet most of these cases are about IRS errors, not “taxpayer debt.” If the taxpayer had owed Uncle Sam money, it would have been pretty rare for the IRS to wait more than 10 years to try to collect it.

ncinca on April 15, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Thanks for the explanation as I struggled on how to explain. Also, our current debt is not 17.5 Trillion, but 23.5 Trillion (17.5T debt we all know about+ 3T owed to SSA+ 3T of bad debts sitting on the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet). This is hard true debt that we as taxpayers owe to others, including ourselves. I think future unfunded liabilities (aka unrealistic future promises are around 150T). I just shake my head when some folks talk about intra governmental debt and that most of the debt is owed to our selves; as if that debt really does not matter. I ain’t all that smart, but I have a clue about why our dollar is being devalued and the causes of said devaluation.

Time to stop typing as my blood pressure is starting to rise.

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Good news and bad news on that – the $3 trillion (give or take a couple hundred billion) owed to SocSecurity/Medicare is part of the $17.5 trillion; that’s the major portions of the intragovernmental debt.

The bad news is that’s what it would take to extinguish it immediately (the “book value”, if you will), not what it will eventually cost when the Social Security and Medicare Hospital Insurance’s accounts are drained. As of late 2012, the last time I did the calculation on just the SocSecurity portion, the total current-dollar (not adjusted for inflation) liability was a bit north of $5 trillion, or double the book value.

I’ll have to take another look at that when the 2014 Trustees’ Report comes out.

Steve Eggleston on April 15, 2014 at 3:11 PM

HonestLib on April 15, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Steve Eggleston on April 15, 2014 at 3:11 PM

Let’s not forget about state and local debt. Might as well add those on to the total tab for good measure.

Texas Zombie on April 15, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Okay, I say this a lot, but hopefully it’ll get through:

Bureau of Fiscal Services (previously named Financial Management Services) is the one responsible for this, NOT the IRS. They haven’t been part of the IRS for over 15 years. The IRS still has a 10-year Collection Statute of Limitations, and has to prove deliberate criminal tax fraud (this is not a simple audit… this involves criminal charges and the extension only applies after conviction) OR have the taxpayer sign an extension in writing. The only time we bother with the latter is when we’re negotiating Offer in Compromise settlements, close to the expiration date.

We have problems, yes. But pinning other alphabet soup orgs’ problems on us lets them avoid repercussions.

Meanwhile, the IRS can’t seem to halt the deluge of fraudulent income tax refunds streaming out at the rate of $4 BILLION A YEAR.
BuckeyeSam on April 15, 2014 at 10:39 AM

2011, identity theft was roughly 12-13 billion.

2012, my program opened up, and we stopped a confirmed 5 billion, with another 3.5 billion we’re still reviewing to make certain it was stopped appropriately. Cost of my program for 2012? Roughly 300 million.

2013, we’re looking on track for close to 10-11 billion total prevented.

That’s identity theft alone. You have no idea of the scope of the problem, nor our efforts to stop it. Private sector losses are even higher, but we work with victims and their creditors to stop the crime on both sides (tax and personal).

Hate on the politically-motivated upper management hacks all you want, but please stop treating us like some monolithic bureaucratic Galactus, out to consume the world. The vast majority of us are just trying to make ends meet for ourselves, while doing our jobs right.

Asurea on April 15, 2014 at 9:35 PM

The estates of folks pushed into Medicare or ACA welfare subsidies are subject to clawback. That’s the law now but in the past recipients didn’t typically leave estates worth chasing down. Not so the case now.
skoot65 on April 15, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Right. I don’t have health insurance, being unemployed, and I WILL NOT accept Medicaid. Medicaid pays for itself, in part, by seizing equity in the recipient’s house and real estate: They file liens on it.
So, if I need to move, or get a reverse mortgage, or go into a retirement home, my equity is diminished. I get less money to buy a new house, as a loan, or as a grubstake to retire on.
It’s not a “subsidy”. It’s a trap!

ReggieA on April 16, 2014 at 4:50 PM

Also need a statute of limitations on NEW regulations based upon OLD statutes.

For expample: EPA re-interpreting the Clear Air Act and the Clean Water Act decades after these statutes were passed for issues that the original statute authors never intended super-empowers the Executive branch.

Carnac on April 15, 2014 at 10:36 AM

That’s why I keep proposing a Constitutional Amendment, to the effect that since ALL Legislative Powers are vested in the Congress; they should have to pass all rules, regulations, and other civilian strictures. That way, each Congressman would be liable for their votes on each regulation, and bureaucrats could not go beyond Congressional authority.

ReggieA on April 16, 2014 at 5:01 PM