Friday, April 10, 2009

Trickle Down - By Jimmy Petrol

All of us here in the real world, the one where we work and work without seeing any increase in our largely fictional savings, have been wondering what it would be like to get a little of the star treatment that the big-paycheck guys on Wall Street have been enjoying. What happens for the big boys is they get paid plenty, get to keep it when the "company" goes broke...and the taxes? Well, they pay ‘em, of course...they have a nice bit left over after rent and all that, so they can.....but they often cheat even there.

So the IRS has been prying into the private "offshore" accounts of the American wealthy, looking for undeclared riches to tax. They have prevailed against some of the most venerable Swiss institutions and are poised to seize assets from the guys that have them tucked away in that cold, Northern country. But the difference between us and them is that even though the IRS can now access the Secret Names attached to all those Secret Swiss accounts, instead of playing hardball the government is offering a sweet deal. If you have a pile of money somewhere that you "forgot" to report, the IRS is willing to forego most of the usual penalties and interest if you just send them a note confessing your "oversight". On top if that, they will graciously forget to prosecute.

You have six months to take advantage of this sweet deal. The amazing thing about this country is that the Sweet Deal has to apply to everyone, not just the rich.

Which means if you are one of the tens of thousands of small business "owners" that have been forgetting to file taxes because you haven't got any money and didn't bother to file bankruptcy because you aren't as sophisticated as, say, Ex-Presidente G.W. Bush, who's companies are reported to have filed bankruptcy multiple times, you get to go home "free".

Of course, J.P. is not a Tax Man and you should get online and see for yourself what the IRS has offered delinquent filers this season. As always, the letter of the law is the path to safety.

The government has extended a little "tax amnesty" to the wealthy...and we get to ride in on their coat-tails, so long as we do it within the six-month time limit.

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