Friday, May 10, 2019

Chain Mail

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, 5500, form, IRS, ass fucked, just kill me, motherfuckers, democrats, sweet merciful jesus

Let's get this out of the way up front: today's post is about venting and being pissed off. There won't be anything particularly valuable to learn, and whatever occasional laughs may occur will be the kind that you wouldn't want to hear in the dark. Think Joaquin Phoenix's upcoming version of "The Joker."

We already weren't having a great day. There was a regularly scheduled doctor's check-up, and at a certain age such check-ups are really about determining whether you're dying quickly or slowly (still slowly in our own case). The conversations go like this:

Patient: I have this symptom.
Doctor: We can't do much about that but it probably won't kill you.
Patient: I also have this symptom.
Doctor: We can't do much about that but it probably won't kill you.
Patient: I also have this symptom.
Doctor: (Long, thoughtful pause) You should see a specialist.

We spoke to the doctor about our year-long affliction with Stilton's Palsy (spastic shaking and jerking at night, and occasionally during the day when encountering stress) and mutually determined that medical options are pretty much at an end, so it will just be an embarrassingly kinetic part of our existence from now on, and a good reason to stay out of expensive china stores. But that's not what pissed us off.

Listening to the news on the way home from the medical visit, we heard all the stories in which Democrats are now claiming that the country is in a "Constitutional Crisis" because Attorney General Barr has been declared to be in "contempt of congress" for not breaking federal law when they ordered him to. Seriously, Barr has already released every iota of the stupid Mueller report which the law (created by Congress) allows, but the Dems and their media fluffers are screaming "high crimes and misdemeanors!" Which, and we can't emphasize this strongly enough, is no reason to line them all up against a wall without benefit of a fair, if exceedingly brief, trial. But that's not what pissed us off today, either.

No, the final straw was delivered by the US Mail (a subsidiary of - a letter from the IRS explaining that we were invited to be guest of honor at a massive ass-raping.

Had we underpaid our taxes? Nope - not by a penny! Had we ignored our taxes entirely like Al Sharpton and countless others who run up millions in tax debt with no one giving a good goddamn? Nope - we'd never missed a payment. But apparently we had run afoul of (warning: cover the children's ears, and STOP READING NOW if you have a heart condition!) the infamous 5500 form.

What's that? You never heard of the 5500 form? Well that's because the IRS does their best to keep anyone from hearing about it. Essentially, the 5500 form is for schmucks like us who have created our own retirement plans to avoid leeching off the taxpayers (as well as not trusting the government to be able to pay back all the money we've paid into Social Security).

Once a year, we have to fill out the 5500 form to show how much money was in our retirement account at the beginning of the year, and at the end of the year. That's it. A basic information form. Simple, right?

Of course, you don't file it with your regular taxes - because THAT would be too easy to remember. No, you file it "no later than the last day of the seventh month following the end of your selected fiscal year." And does the IRS send you the 5500 form to fill out? No, they do not - nor do they send a reminder. So do you print out the 5500 form online and send it? Don't be stupid! You can print it out, but it won't be accepted unless it's been printed on official IRS magic paper™which requires you to contact the IRS by phone and, after an interminable wait, request that they send you the form to fill out. And until recently, you also had to request a separate form that goes in the same envelope as the form 5500 and says, with God as our witness, that "the other piece of paper in this envelope is a form 5500."

Okay, got it? Well, there was some personal turmoil going on in our life around the last day of the seventh month following the end of our personally selected fiscal year and we apparently forgot to send the form in. As tax time (early 2018) approached, we couldn't find proof that we'd mailed in the 2017 5500 form the previous July, so got a blank form, filled it out in about 60 seconds, and sent it in.

The IRS, appreciative of this non-Sharpton-like behavior, then sent us a letter today saying that the fine for being late in sending this purely informational form will be $5,300.

Again, that's not for missing any tax payments, engaging in fraud, or hiding anything. It's basically $1000 a month for the boring nearly-secret form being a bit late.

That fine is actually more than our entire earned income from last year, which the IRS presumably effing knows. So we are unamused. And by unamused, we mean spraying streams of blood from our eyes like a horned toad on a meth binge.

We'll try to appeal, of course, encouraged by the sense of empathy, compassion, and fair play for which the IRS is famous (our caseworker is someone named Lois Lerner) and if we have to pay up, well, we'll just do our level best to milk the government for every cent we can pull out of them via benefit programs

Not that this will necessarily be easy. Next week, the Jarlsbergs are scheduled to meet with Social Security following Mrs. J's application for benefits. Apparently she's been flagged as a possible fraud, and further interrogation will be required. No doubt by Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Adam Schiff, and Jerry "Tweedledee" Nadler.

And the horses they rode in on.

With that IRS fine, we could have bought 331 jugs of this. 


Will Hepburn said...

Stilt, I feel your pain.

Years back my quarterly payroll taxes did not get paid one quarter. I caught it before the Service did, dutifully filled out the forms sent them in, and paid the taxes along with some penalty.

A year and a half later they came after me because I mistakenly put the correct data on the wrong quarter's forms. Who knew the gummint was smart enough to date their forms?

After much gnashing of teeth and a small amount of money, the matter was settled after I had to fill out a 17 page 3 layer carbonized form (no kidding, 17 pages) the last page of which was the notice of their compliance with The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980. I'm still laughing at the absurdity many years later.

This too will pass, Stilt. Just laugh at the ignorant bastards.

On the other issue, have your tried CBD oil? It is supposed to cure everything from ED to Spazmodics.

Jason Anyone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maoz said...

Stilt, my whole-hearted sympathy to you and your wife.

For what it's worth: I've always been intrigued by the fact that, in the Book of Exodus (not the Leon Uris version), the taskmasters that Pharaoh set over the Jews to embitter our lives are called in Hebrew "sarei misim" - which one could translate as Tax Officials.

Or to borrow a more American expression, "WTF?!"

Dan said...

Jerry NoNads Contempt of Congress gambit reminds me of Gomer Pyle's citizen's arrest.

As far as the IRS stuff, I can only wish you well, with a quick resolution that leaves you whole and out of jail. Obviously you just need to make bunch more money and rub elbows with the right people to keep you out of IRS trouble.

KatinKansas said...

Magnesium. For your shakes and bedtime body quakes, you need magnesium lotion, found on Amazon. I buy it for my hubby and my son-in-law's dad, who both work for a living, pay taxes, and therefore suffer from 'restless body syndrome'.

I think you need a good tax attorney. I would think you might have incurred the wrath of the IRS via your online persona, and therefore they are being the FMFs they truly are. Tax Attorney....ours has saved our asses more than once, and we tend to nudge the upper middle class without visable means of income. Hubby plays the 'market daily and does extremely well. (Thank you President Trump!).

God Bless you.

Jason Anyone said...

Hey Stilts,

Not sure if you're aware of this. (I realize it's of no value for your current situation, but going forward, could save a lot of time hearing "your call is important to us" a dozen dozen dozen times while waiting to ask for special IRS paper.)

"Use the online, fillable 2018 Form 5500-EZ on the IRS website. Complete and download the form to your computer to print and sign before mailing.

Or, use the official printed paper Form 5500-EZ obtained from the IRS. Complete the form by hand using only black or blue ink. Be sure to enter your information in the specific line fields provided; sign and date the form before mailing"

And as for the Democraps...

Actually, I'm thinking they have a crisis, but it's not a Constitutional crisis. Pelosi and Jerry the nadless are in panic mode because, on the economy alone, Trump is skating toward re-election. The Trump economy hasn't just delivered "jobs", it's delivered "opportunity".

Compare that to the cast of "2020 Pander-monium" (free, free), they know voters will see that they're all full of shit. Thus, they have a constipational crisis.

3/17/19 The Labor Department said Friday that hiring also rose and the number of people quitting their jobs picked up. Quits are a sign of a healthy economy, because people typically leave a job for another, usually higher-paying, one.

Brie Camembert said...

Nothing certain in life but death and taxes. You seem to be right on track with both

My sympathies for the health issues and the curse of the IRS.

Mike in Maryland said...

Instead of my $162 expected refund I got an IRS letter saying I owed $984. Seems my student loan interest deduction was denied. Only problem? I didn't claim a deduction for student loan interest because I have no student loans - being a 1978 college graduate.

Called the IRS and was told the information on their computer showed the problem was I
"had put my IRA deduction in student loan line." Although a copy of the schedule in
front of me, sent with my return, clearly showed I had not.

Oh. Well then it must have been an IRS "data entry error."

So sent them a letter, with another copy of the schedule.

After 30 days got another letter saying they are reexamining my return and they'll get
back to me in 60 days.

From the same people who want to take control of our health care

Fish Out of Water said...

Sigh, brings to mind a Reagan comment about how the government sees itself as helping people.

Your and other tales, are prime exhibits of why our federal income tax system needs to be scrapped and replaced by a flat federal sales tax.

Jim Irre said...

Self-employed and pay my accountant annually to avoid the Inquisition. So far, so good!

And unlike others, I don't feel your pain because I've avoided the 6th century proctological ass-reaming the IRS doles out.

My fondest wish is to die in peace.

Beverly said...

I really enjoy receiving your emails. Sorry to hear of your problems. How depressing. I thought we all could use a little humor to brighten our day (copy and post in your browser):

Fish Out of Water said...

Not to pick at the scab, but this is in today's WSJ

Flat sales tax! Flat sales tax!

Bobo the Hobo said...

Stilt, so sorry to hear you are being hauled in before the Because I Said So IRS Gestapo. Here’s to your safe return and may your scotch and ice not run out.

Dilbertnomore said...

Stilton - This from Woodsterman on Wednesday:
A father walks into a restaurant with his young son. He gives the young boy three nickels to play with to keep him occupied. Suddenly, the boy starts choking, going blue in the face. The father realizes the boy has swallowed the nickels and starts slapping him on the back. The boy coughs up two of the nickels but keeps choking. Looking at his son, the father is panicking, shouting for help.

A well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman, in a blue business suit is sitting at a nearby table reading on her laptop and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looks up, puts her coffee cup down, gets up from her seat and makes her way, unhurried, across the restaurant.

Reaching the boy, the woman carefully drops his pants; takes hold of the boy's' testicles and starts to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever so firmly. After a few seconds the boy convulses violently and coughs up the last nickel, which the woman deftly catches in her free hand.

Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman hands the nickel to the father and walks back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.

As soon as he is sure that his son has suffered no ill effects, the father rushes over to the woman and starts thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor?"

"No," the woman replied. "I'm with the IRS."

KellyfromWI said...

I would also look at CBD oil for your symptoms, from what I read it might help, it sure cant hurt. I am taking it for different reasons and it worked so great for me I became a distributor for them.

If you would like more information, I would be happy to share my website with you.

Jess said...

In a perfect world, all taxes would be voluntary, and in an amount the taxpayers wishes.

L.C.Clower said...

"at a certain age such check-ups are really about determining whether you're dying quickly or slowly"
At a certain age your life becomes more and more like keeping a junk car on the road.
And at a certain age you just have to put more ethanol in the ol' tank.

Fred Ciampi said...

With 75,822 pages (and growing every day) in the IRfS code, it's no wonder that it is the biggest fustercluck on the planet, perhaps in the galaxy. It exemplifies the old adage "I would rather have a sister working in a whorehouse than a brother in the IRS". When you go for your inquisition ... I mean hearing, do what I did the time I had to go; for about three days before, eat lots of garlic and don't bathe. Oh, and breathe on the sadistic bastard that is doing the 'interview'. I know it's gross but it does give some satisfaction. Good luck Stilt. Oh, and CBD oil does bring some relief for those old age pains. So does moonshine.

M. Mitchell Marmel said...

"Listen, kid, we're all in it together." - Harry Tuttle

David DeGerolamo said...

It never was made public but the IRS was weaponized against individuals also during the Lois Lerner period. I was one of those individuals who was harassed for close to two years. After being told that my case would be evaluated yet again with a determination made after my option to file a lawsuit against the IRS would expire, I filed a lawsuit against the IRS. The cost was $60. When the case hit the docket, it took all of 3 minutes to have the IRS tell me that I owed nothing and wanted to drop the case. The supervisor actually laughed when I asked why it took him three minutes to resolve the case after two years.

Although I suspected that I was targeted by the IRS for founding NCFreedom, this was about two years prior to the IRS information being released to the public. My advice is to go one time to resolve the issue. Then file a lawsuit in Superior Court.

David DeGerolamo

Sally Jo said...

"spraying streams of blood from our eyes like a horned toad on a meth binge" aptly sums up the emotion when the government comes knocking. Have been there. My sympathies.

Anonymous said...


I’m quite sure your humor directed at the “deep state” has no bearing on your being targeted by our friendly IRS. That would be a bridge too far.

El Steveadore

TrickyRicky said...

Stilton, my best wishes for improvement in all aspects of your life, especially the ones that inspired your classic rant today.

The IRS is indeed an out-of-control confiscatory agency run amok. That Lois Lerner and the lying ferret Koskinen are not incarcerated should offend every fair minded and sentient American citizen. We are near the final exit on the road to serfdom.

Nuke the swamp!

Anonymous said...

I have a colleague at work that was able to plead ignorance and avoid the penalties. But, I am told, the IRS is fairly arbitrary in accepting these pleas.

Fred Ciampi said...

Yes, we do have more 'tools'. And the distant drums are getting closer, much closer than most people think. "Nuff said ... for now.

American Cowboy said...

Fish Out of Water said...
"Your and other tales, are prime exhibits of why our federal income tax system needs to be scrapped and replaced by a flat federal sales tax."

I have never been able to understand why so many hate this idea and embrace multiple income taxes. A flat sales tax across the board exempting only medicine and food would be the best solution in the long run. The truly poor would pay very little. It would be a consumption tax based on ability to pay, rather than a tax on productivity. Hard work and thriftiness would be rewarded. It would be much easier to administer...

Oh wait...I forgot...I answered my own question. Those are all things that the left despise!

Jim Irre said...


Murphy(AZ) said...

All of the above not withstanding, adding my personal seven-year tale of woe to the mix will change nothing, though it might bring a tear to a sympathetic eye or two. But all of this comes down to one, simple question that I'm sure everyone here wants answered:


hrm said...

You poor bugger. Some years ago, I misinterpreted an acquisition of one of my stock holdings by yet another of my (admittedly massive) stock holdings and two years later, to the day received a note from the IRS that I was to be fined $26,000. Believe it or not, I contacted my US Representative (by no coincidence, a Republican) who sat on their heads until they got much more reasonable. Try it. You'll like it!

Walter L. Stafford said...

I've often heard when this type of behavior occurs, the common courtesy of a "reach around" should be at least offered followed by a kiss.
I learned during my four score years there is a vast distinction between "right and legal."
The IRS NEVER goes after those that evade, lie, cheat, steal in the most reprehensible manner.
They always are looking for easy pickings such those of us even though retired continue to support the worthless pieces of shit that have learned how to bilk the system!

There, I feel all better now! Hope you appeal works. Carry bundles of documents, paper of every description and color when you make your grand entrance for the appeal process and act very paranoid about having to sit for this. It reminds you of being in a POW camp during the French and Indian War! :')

Greg said...

Not sure if this helps, but here's some info from the IRS website:

How to fix the mistake:

Correction of a late filed Form 5500-series return isn’t available under EPCRS. If you determine you didn't file your Form 5500-series return, the correct by filing the delinquent return as soon as possible. DOL maintains a Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program (DFVC) that is available to plans that are subject to Title 1 of ERISA. IRS has a penalty relief program for sponsors of certain non-ERISA plans required to file Form 5500-EZ who are late filers.

Employer Z sponsors a 401(k) for its employees and failed to file a Form 5500-series return for the 2015 year.

Corrective action:
Employer Z can’t correct the failure to file a Form 5500 return under EPCRS. If the IRS contacts Employer Z about its delinquent Form 5500-series return, Z may file the return in response to the letter. Z should include an explanation of why it didn't file the return and request a waiver of the penalty. If the IRS hasn’t assessed any penalties and the plan is subject to ERISA, Z may use the Department of Labor’s Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program (DFVC). If Z uses this program, IRS won’t pursue any late filing penalties if Z meets certain conditions.

If Employer Z sponsors a one-participant plan, Z can file a delinquent Form 5500-EZ with the IRS. Z should include an explanation of why the return(s) weren’t filed and request a waiver of the penalty. If IRS hasn’t assessed penalties, then Z should consider using the IRS Form 5500-EZ penalty relief program.

Anonymous said...

Stilton, it seems as if you've been named after an excellent cheese, yet you persist in drinking the swill pictured in your rant today. Switch to a single malt such as those made on Islay and you'll feel much better.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Unknown- Sadly, "laughing" at the ignorant bastards isn't in my bag of tricks today. Rather, I need to swallow a lot of white hot bile and put on my kneepads to beg my oppressor for mercy. This is not how you make happy citizens. Regarding CBD oil, I'd love to try it, but no form of it is legal in Texas and I'm not the sort who flirts with such things. But in a legal state? Yeah, I'd be on CBD in a heartbeat.

@Maoz- I assume that tax officials are the offspring of whores and lawyers, and too deplorable at birth (owing to the incestuous nature of their conception) to be raised by either tribe.

@Dan- Oh, they won't put me in jail. They'll just continue to add $25/day to my fine (plus interest) until they have all of my retirement money. A figure they already have because I submitted it to them on my motherhumping 5500 form.

@KatinKansas- I already take magnesium supplements, but hadn't heard of the lotion. I'll be paying a visit to Amazon later today to get some!

I don't think I need a tax attorney yet. There's actually an appeal process I can go through, and I may have enough extenuating circumstances to get this knocked down to a $500 penalty. Or not.

@Jason Anyone- I was unaware of the online method of filling out the form. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for the Democrats, I'm increasingly losing my patience with those lying rat bastards. Strong legal measures should be taken to dissuade them from their current stunts.

@Brie Camembert- If the IRS keeps up stunts like this, my death and taxes may be intimately related.

@Mike in Maryland- BOOM! Your final point really brings it home. These bureaucratic nitwits don't know what the hell they're doing (if you call the IRS for advice, the odds are greater than 50% that the advice you get will be wrong) and now they want to run our healthcare system. A checkmark in the wrong box could kill you, and no one will care or be blamed. (This seems to be a good place to mention the small event that starts the landslide of action in Terry Gilliam's "Brazil.")

@Fish Out of Water- At this point, we desperately need SOME kind of flat tax. I'm not crazy about a sales tax since I'm at an age where most of my money has already had taxes paid on it, and I'd hate to have to do it again. But if it would finally simplify the system and - importantly! - take the power away from those who write and distort tax laws, then I'm willing to take the hit.

@Jim Irre- My business has always been small enough that I've done the accounting myself. I just apparently missed sending this form for a few months because I was distracted by family health issues (including my own) at the time.

@Beverly- In even the bleakest of moments, AOC can be counted on for unintended hilarity.

Unknown said...

IMHO, if your blogs had been Hope and Obama and Stilton's Socialist Scribe, you and your wife might not have been subject to this harassment!

Oh, but the government would never use the IRS to punish those who do not salute the PC flag, right?

Best of luck to you.

james daily said...

Condolences Stilt: Anyone that deals with the IRS and doesn't lose his doovers is a winner. After reading Greg just above is it any wonder we all have IRS problems? The IRS is a cesspool, filled with wannabe tyrants and sociopaths. Then if you ever go to a party you will never find anyone that says they work for the IRS. They lie about that also. Good luck, it seem the above advice from the members is sound so maybe one of them will work. (I like the sue the bastards for $60 bucks) but I haven't a clue what Greg's post said.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Fish Out of Water- Good article. Although now there's blood trickling out of my ear.

@Dilbertnomore- I believe every word of it.

@KellyfromWI- I appreciate the offer, but CBD is illegal in Texas (I've done research, because a number of vendors promise it's okay). I don't really have enough of a persecution complex to think that the gummint is trying to put me away, but just to be on the safe side I don't want any illegal substances being sent to me through US Mail, making for a federal crime. But who knows, maybe I'll take a CBD vacation to a legalized state sometime to give it a try.

@Jess- That's almost what the socialists are pushing...except for the 10% of people who would have to involuntarily pay 100% of their assets.

@L.C.Clower- When you put it like that, it's practically poetic.

John the Econ said...

Who's to say that there was anything particularly valuable to learn this morning? Some of us (who are a bit better versed in tax code than the average bear) just learned about the infamous Form 5500.

Sounds like you are suffering a bit more from the Progressive War on the Middle Class.

Just perusing that "corner" of the IRS world, I instantly discovered your problem. It's assumed that you are a mega corporation with a massive accounting department of hundreds, if not thousands of minions employed to do nothing all day except deal with this sort of pointless minutia. How you fell into this trap you must tell. Most individual citizens who are focused on April 15th as their annual day of agony don't realize that for the business world, dealing with the IRS is an all-year ordeal.

I do have to admit that still being better than a decade away from retiring (unless we get single-payer everything which will make "work" economically pointless) I am not as well versed is post-retirement tax compliance as perhaps I should be. But when nudged about this by Mrs. Econ, I reply that it would be largely pointless to invest that kind of time and energy into it now as on a whim at any point during the next decade or so, our betters in Washington could change everything and render my investment of time and anguish, as well as a large part of our savings, pointless. Since Social Security and Medicare are expected to be bankrupt before I reach retirement age, I think that's a reasonable assumption.

When reading of tales such as yours, I again wonder if I'd just be better doing as the illegals do; move south and set up a up address at a po box with an invented identity at a border town and just collect the various checks that the government mindless sends out and not worry about anything else. Sure sounds easier than what you have to deal with.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Fred Ciampi- I don't think I'll have to see anyone in person. If I do, I hope I don't "accidentally" start knocking things off his/her desk with my Parkinsonian-style flailing. (Note: I do NOT have Parkinson's)

@M. Mitchell Marmel- "Granted, it's quicksand..."

@David DeGerolamo- Yikes. I don't want to get ahead of myself, so am hoping I can resolve this fairly quickly and easily without the need for any lawsuits or court appearances. I will, of course, keep everyone posted if I prove to be wrong."

@Sally Jo- Extreme pressure calls for extreme responses, and Mother Nature suggests some great ones.

@El Steveadore- I genuinely hope (and at least somewhat believe) that this sudden $5 grand fine and the temporary designation that Mrs. J may be a Social Security fraud can be attributed to ineptitude rather than political targeting. Gulp.

@TrickyRicky- Yeah, I'm still pissed that Lois Lerner and Koskinen had no repercussions at all from their criminal actions. It's almost enough to make a body cynical.

@Anonymous- Unfortunately, I can't plead ignorance because A) I'm not a Democrat and B) I have a long history of submitting this form year after year after year. I just had a "whoopsie" this time.

@Alej- All of that makes sense. Still, I plan to mount my initial defense using tears and pleading.

@Fred Ciampi- On a complete unrelated note, summer weeds are coming to backyards, and Amazon has pretty good prices on machetes!

@American Cowboy- Well said. MANY of our tax laws are designed to punish those who show self-reliance. Neither political party wants that.

Old Cannonballs said...

Because our family income is below the so-called poverty line, my wife, who is not yet eligible for Medicare, receives Medicaid. When I started to collect Social Security, because I'm also still working, that apparently pushed us over the line, and they raised my wife's monthly share-of-cost to over $1,200 a month. That despite the fact that the SS I'm receiving is my money that the government first confiscated to hold for me, and then resturned once it was worth a lot less. #@!&*%($###!!!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jim Irre- We'll see who's laughing after you hear about the emoji tax... (grin)

@Murphy(AZ)- This is what I don't get! How can a guy who owes MILLIONS in unpaid taxes not have his scrawny ass dragged to the hoosegow?! Clearly, the law doesn't apply to all of us.

@hrm- I'll add that to my list of things to try if my initial efforts don't pan out.

@Walter L. Stafford- You're right that the IRS likes "easy pickings." Odds are that they never would have noticed the missing form if I hadn't brought it to their attention by "doing the right thing" and turning it in late.

@Unknown- I don't know if my political profile has put me at higher risk...but it's certainly crossed my mind.

@james daily- I'm hoping for a quick and relatively painless resolution. Note that I said "hoping" and not "expecting"...

@John the Econ- You're right on target when you point out that the huge fines associated with the 5500 form are intended to punish those who are running BIG retirement plans for corporations with hundreds or thousands of employees. They weren't really intended to smack down self-employed sole proprietors, though it's up to me to see if I can tap dance myself out of the crosshairs now.

And next week I'm meeting with my new financial advisor who can help us through the ins and outs of retirement. There are plenty of fun complications; if I don't take Social Security until age 70, then the payments will be significantly higher. BUT at age 70, I'm also required to take a certain percentage out of my self-funded retirement account annually...every cent of which is considered taxable income. Which means that most of my Social Security will go to paying taxes on the money I put away for my own retirement.

So yes, illegals have it better. And it gives me no great satisfaction to think that my $5000 will likely go as a "refund" to a family of illegals who paid no taxes at all.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Old Cannonballs- You've summarized things nicely. That's some catch, that Catch-22...

Old Cannonballs said...

I know Medicaid is essentially a government handout, but our private insurance went away when the "Affordable Healthcare Act" rode into town*, and we weren't able to afford the fiscal penalties of being uninsured, OR the absurdly high cost of healthcare (if you're not an insurance company that gets an 80% discount on everything).

*and the horse it rode in on

John the Econ said...

Reading all the above, all I can think is that all of this insanity was instituted in the name of making our lives easier!

I can't wait until they're running my health care as well.

The Constitutional Crisis: The only Constitutional crisis I see is for Democrats who will not be constitutionally elected or re-elected by people who have woken up to the insanity the left is presenting. For example, the chick who can't figure out a garbage disposal knows what interest you should be paying on your credit cards. While the Democrats argue that Trump should be impeached and yet for some reason refuse to follow through with an impeachment proceeding that they can institute at any time, Americans who haven't worked for the better part of a decade have discovered that working is a better deal that sitting on the couch. Even the Democrat's core constituency has taken notice:

Data Show Poorest Americans Are Benefiting Most from Strong Economy

Biden's "Make America 2009 Again" theme isn't going to work.

Fred Ciampi said...

Greg, I worked in aerospace for fifty years and those directions are more complex than launching the Space Shuttle. And, I didn't have the benefit of good 'ole 190 proof back then.

Joseph ET said...

Yes, the United States faces a 'constitutional crisis’ caused by the Failed Democratic Coup Attempt

Dan said...

@Mike in Maryland - when I worked at IRS many years ago, we were told if we really screwed things up to blame it on the computer.

@Fred Ciampi - at one time or another I had a brother working at IRS. And a sister, and a mother, and a father. Not all at the same time, y'know, but in Austin it wasn't bad pay. Especially for term or part-time work.

I worked for IRS of and on from around '73 to '78. ("when actually employed" seasonal WAE status; was even a union steward for a while). One thing many of us IRS employees noted was that IRS treated its employees terribly. The management was really pitiful. We did, however, realize why. We couldn't take out our frustration and anger on management, but we COULD take it out on the taxpayer. And many did.

DonS said...

Speaking of taxes, can anybody 'splain to me why the "Fair Tax" perverts the excellent idea of a national sales tax by adding a "Tax Prebate" which amounts to a guaranteed basic income? Can you imagine if every 18-year old starts getting a monthly gummint check to pay for their "basic necessities" when they move out? (Wait, maybe that's a good thing!) Boortz and Linder claimed it's to protect poor folks from being taxed on necessities. Store bar-code scanners can easily exempt everybody's basic food, medicine, and household items and tax only the caviar, lobster, and booze. A national sales or consumption tax would be collected by the states (along with the state sales taxes), and handed over to the (tiny) revenue department of the US Treasury, and the entire IRS could be abolished (Oh, if ONLY!) Imagine if all the $billions we spend on tax avoidance and tax compliance and CPAs were freed up for useful, beneficial, or frivolous spending! End rant. Hey Stilt, we've got a CBD shop on every street corner up here in Oklahoma; come up and visit OKC for a week or two to see if it'll help the SJ shakes. Blessings!

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Stilt, I wish you the best in diagnosing your condition. It must be frustrating trying to find the cause, then find a doc who knows what the hell is wrong and how to fix it. As an ex-dentist and an "insider" within the "loop," I feel your situation. Luckily, I was on staff at three different hospitals and had access to several physicians who knew what was going on, how to diagnose, etc. Now that I have moved from the California insanity to Prescott, Arizona, I have to start all over again in order to find a physician who works within our insurance/Medicare system and who is sharp enough to diagnose and treat.

Re the IRS, these little morons know nothing other than how to sock it to the ordinary Joe who works his ass off and tries to live by social and govermental rules.

I retired fifteen years ago and had---by law---to hire a firm to handle our Pension and Profit Sharing plan that allowed us to invest and accrue funds that would allow us to retire without having to rely on either Social Security or other so-called entitlements from the great Washington D.C. deep-stete complex. So far,it has worked, but we are still suspicious of the entire scheme to constantly strip any money from those of us who invest our hard-earned money in order to re-distribute it to those who don't deserve it and who never worked for it as we did.

Outrageously, the IRS continues to prey on the uninformed (hey--probably most of us who don't have tax-accounting degrees).

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Old Cannonballs- The "Affordable Healthcare Act" destroyed the system for a lot of people, and made it nearly unaffordable for most others. It's a complete mess, by design, to encourage single payer. Which will, itself, worsen healthcare.

@John the Econ- The Dems are no longer amusing, and they're playing some very dangerous games at the moment. The rhetoric from Nadler, Pelosi, Schiff and the rest is practically calling for armed revolution against Trump. I find that damned worrisome.

As for Biden's "Make America 2009 Again" theme, all I remember about 2009 is that it sucked and it was still George W. Bush's fault - right?

@Fred- I would have better luck deciphering the Rosetta Stone than the average paragraph of instructions from the IRS.

@Joseph ET- You couldn't be more right! It is a constitutional crisis caused by an attempted coup, and it should be dealt with hastily, legally, and forcefully.

@Dan- Nothing gives people a sense of corrupt, abusive power like control of a very small, captive group.

@DonS- I'd have to see the details, but anything which amounts to a guaranteed basic income makes me lift an eyebrow pretty darn high. No matter how you parse it, that money needs to be taken from someone else, which just rubs me the wrong way. Other than that, the idea of a consumption tax (if it REPLACED income tax) is fine with me. And dang, I was just up in Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago! Wish I'd known that I could have done some shopping...

@Alfonso Bedoya- I've largely given up on finding a doctor who can properly diagnose my condition. If you don't have epilepsy (or even if you do), neurologists are likely to just turn you into a lab rat and try various medications...some of which are hell on Earth.

Regarding the IRS, I'm pissed beyond words that they would try to nail be for over $5000 because an information form was a bit late. They suffered no monetary loss, I had no monetary gain, no taxes were unpaid. Nope, this is screwing someone just for the sheer pleasure and power trip.

I am going to be working with a financial advisor, and this whole episode may cause me to give him more control (and higher payment) than I'd originally planned. I'm getting older, the government is getting meaner, and that's math that doesn't work out in my favor.

james daily said...

You govt at work: A guy left town to handle his dead mother's estate. The guy who was suppose to mow his lawn died. So, the benevolent city inspector fined him $500 - FIFTY SEVEN TIMES and now the state wants their money so are foreclosing on his house. What is mind boggling is not only the amount of the original fine, but how can you fine the same grass growth over and over?
So, the IRS has cousins everywhere.

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, I fear that any alternate plan of taxation will only result in the beaurocrates saying, "What a wonderful idea!" and working out a scheme to incorporate BOTH forms of taxation. The IRS is like socialism. Once implemented, it's easy to get into, but it usually takes force to get out.

Drew458 said...

I'd send this one in directly, but I can't find a contact email on your sites.

Looks like you might have a bit of competition from this Stonetoss dot com comic. Just a small bit.

I can certainly see this as a Johnny Optimism strip, if he ever gets out of the hospital ...

Stewardess: But sir, you can't bring dead animals on the plane!!!
Passenger: But you said I could bring a carrion bag!

wahtwahtwaaaa ...

Unknown said...

Mr. Jarlsberg, I live in Houston and we have CBD stores around... My wife (who wouldn't know what pot looks like) is taking it for arthritis & the improvement is startling. I don't think the authorities want a court challenge with out some really harmful evidence.

Rod said...

True story and we do not personally demean the person involved; but we both find it hilariously funny when a more distant (retired) relative who worked for the IRS for over 20 years now says (as seriously as could be; not as a joke), "If anyone can really screw things up, it's the IRS."

Dan said...

Just checked the Intartubes:

CBD is now legal in Plano, TX after the Farm Bill was signed into law in December. There were, like, five distributors showing on the map the search turned up.

I wish they wouldn't tie it to faith healing/shamanism/hippie-dippie.

If you try it, I might (I'm in Georgia, and I just checked and it looks like it's legal here).

Fish Out of Water said...

Wow, has this point generated do comments !

Why indeed is there no flat tax? Lack of political will to face down those who have benefited from the present tax code. By taking what is otherwise rightly yours by coercion, taxes are inherently unfair, but a flat consumption tax is the fairest of the other evils.

Not up as I could be on pre-revolutionary French history, but wasn't one of the causes that led to the societal explosion wss the overwhelming tax burden placed on the common people?

Much has been said about the tragicomic Federal government. Not sure what can accurately capture the why's of the mind numbing, face palm worthy stupidity, pettiness and quasi tyranny of the federal government, but I have observed this: good, smart people enter federal civil service. The smartest eventually leave federal civil service for the private sector.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Let's not conflate the "Fair Tax" (sales tax) with Flat Tax (Income tax at a steady low rate, for everyone, w/ few, if any, deductions)
Agreed, not assessing sales tax on 'necessities' is a trivial process - been doing it here in MI for AGES. Go to grocery store, milk, meat, cheese - not taxed. Beer, wine, fried chicken - taxed ('prepared' food, vs 'ingredients') Not sure where things like pizza rolls, frozen dinners, ice cream fall (I'd tax 'em). But yeah, the idea of a "Pre-bate" to cover the estimated tax you would probably pay is bullshit. Decide what will be exempt, and don't tax it. Period. See also the list of stuff you can get w/ food stamps. And, if you want to designate certain 'luxury' foodstuffs on the 'taxed' list (prime ribs, lobster, etc) I'm OK w/ that, too...

On the 'flat tax' side of things, I'd give up my mortgage deduction for a lower rate... if I knew that everyone was actually PAYING the lower rate... allow personal exemptions, say $20k / adult, $5k for dependents, and family of 4 pays nothing on first $50k they make (ok, add a nominal 'minimum' amount, say $1k, so EVERYONE has skin in the game) where a single guy like me pays 17% on everything over $20k

Pete (Detroit) said...

Oh, hey, look what *I* found laying around - sounds relevant, doesn't it? (bold added)

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Bill the Cat said...

To say "that sounds a tad repressive" about your 5500 statement would be an understatement. I am upset and frustrated FOR you about this.

Rod said...

I can't help doing this this kind of analysis: Assuming you're buying the 1.75 bottles and 5300/331 is 16; your cost is sure right. I may have to try Clan McGregor out of curiosity since reviews vary wildly; but I have a similar low-priced Kentucky Bourbon vice that I actually like. It's higher priced than that but not by much. Depends upon taxes and in which of two handy states I'm buying. Let me just say I buy gasoline & booze on the eastern terminus of my usual shuttle back & forth; the west end is rough with those taxes. The Clan McGregor question really is: Will my uppity Scotch-drinking buddies cast me out? I don't want to lose them. [grin]

Shifterdog said...

Stilton - Try working out with a large punching bag (seriously)

Raz said...

Rod, I just bought the Clan MacGregor but have not sampled it yet. But now you mention an expensive Kentucky Bourbon and I wish you had named it. I like Four Roses and Jim Beam, but I am open to testing my palate on another.
I also share the Kershaw pocket knife in the picture - being relatively certain of that brand of sharp taste.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Raz, for GOOD bourbon I like Maker's Mark - seems to the price point b/n 'rough' and 'pricy.' Traverse City makes some nice bourbon (cherry, or apple flavors, too!) if you're not fussed about where it's made. For cheap mixing stuff, I usually go Old Crow...

Raz said...

Thank you Pete…yes, and I meant to type 'inexpensive' in my earlier comment as I think you perceived. In the matter of Maker's Mark I went to the Maker's Mark factory/store in Bardsville, Kentucky and that was a great experience. I was able to buy a bottle and dip my own red seal for it. Now I hate to open the bottle! But there is no question, Maker's Mark is an excellent bourbon.
I have not tried Old Crow in years but I will be purchasing a bottle of Old Crow for the mixing as you suggest.

mattzcat said...

Apparently, they are still targeting conservatives.