Do I really have to pay for this?
Have you noticed the plethora of TV commercials that encourage you to allow their company to assist you in not paying income tax that you owe? They gleefully display lists of people who owe large amounts, but who only ended up paying a small fraction of what they owed (they do not tell you what the fee was for each of these transactions!).
I am not a fan of the IRS or the current status of our income tax system. There is an extensive discussion of this topic in an earlier blog posting along with proposed solutions. What ticks me off is that over 95% of tax payers faithfully pay their tax liability whether they agree with the system or not. These folks subsidize the folks who manage to weasel out of what they owe and an entire industry, complete with TV advertising funds, has risen up to assist them in screwing you and I. It is both disgusting and legal.
To make matters worse, the group that is taking advantage of this situation are folks that exist the in the upper 10% income group. With very few exceptions the middle class is subsidizing the wealthiest segment of society.
All that considered, I suspect that what we see on TV are a small minority of the outcomes and many are situations where large past incomes have not continued and the IRS considers the debt largely uncollectable. In this regard, these firms are using these rare examples to attract commissions from folks with large tax bills who would like to avoid the tax.
If I was relocating from another country to the USA and saw this occurring it would cause me to suspect both corruption and a lack of ethics. I wonder if this is the way we want our country to be viewed?