'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, December 27, 2010

IRS payments and third-party vendors 

I don't plan to turn this platform into a soapbox concerning details of my personal life, but this I thought might actually interest readers here and perhaps spark some discussion, so I thought it could serve some purpose to mention it.

So, I'm on a payment plan with the IRS for unpaid back taxes (unfortunately, I'm no Thoreau, although, truth be told, neither was Thoreau, who did eventually work to pay off his tax debt long before the scourges of imperialism and slavery had been abolished) and this month, due to circumstances I don't care to explain in any detail, I didn't have the money for my payment until the actual date that the payment was due. I called the IRS to see if I could either get them to note in the file that the money was on its way or if I could arrange some kind of electronic payment to them. I was told that the only way to get the money in on time and avoid the threat of default and, hence, a lien on my wages (the only conceivable threat the government could possibly offer me aside from imprisonment) was to go through a "third-party vendor" and that the IRS could only give me the number of this "third-party vendor" and could not, in fact, even provide me with a sense of how much the "nominal fee" for such a "service" might cost. Alas for you, dear reader, but I declined further investigation, gambling on bureaucratic inertia (which has proved successful in the past) otherwise I would report on such matters. I bring this to your attention only to note that in this "information age" era of "e-government," the tax collection authorities of the US federal government are apparently shopping out significant collection duties to private capitalist entities.

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