Have you ever wondered why April Fools' Day (April 1) and tax day (April 17 this year) are in the same month? Maybe it's coincidence, or maybe it's a cosmic joke, or maybe, just maybe, it's exactly as it should be.
Maybe it's not funny at all. Think of it this way: an April Fools' prank is typically funny only to the jokester. Oh sure, the poor sap on the receiving end will pretend to laugh, pretend to be a good sport about it; but inside, they're either humiliated or planning their retaliation.
On tax day, it's usually the Internal Revenue Service that's the jokester, making you account for every stinkin' penny earned and spent during the year.
Well, listed below are five things the IRS doesn't want you to know, so that you can at least get a giggle or two at the IRS's expense ...
No. 5: They don't want to seize your assets
Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that you're delinquent on your taxes. IRS collection agents might threaten to seize your assets in order to scare you into resolving your tax issue. Don't get scared.
In most cases, it's too expensive and takes way too much time for the IRS to seize your assets. They have to not only identify and seize said assets, but they also have to sell them.
This is typically done via public auction, which means the cash they get will likely be less than the value of the assets seized.
So, although it's never a good idea to be delinquent on your taxes, just remember that the IRS really doesn't want to seize your assets. One exception to this, however, is your bank account. It's a relatively easy process and they don't have to bother with an auction. They might also try to garnish your wages.
No. 4: They would rather not go to court
If you should ever find yourself in trouble with the IRS to the point where a trial in a court of law looms over your head, you can take solace in knowing that they would rather not go to trial.
Trials are expensive, they can take a long time to reach a resolution and, if you have a good tax lawyer, the IRS (aka the United States government) risks losing more money than the issue is really worth.
The IRS is going to exhaust every possible avenue before actually going before a judge. Keep this in mind if you find yourself going up against tax agents threatening to haul you into court.
If you can come up with a reasonable resolution outside a courtroom, chances are excellent they'll settle.
No. 3: Their agents do make mistakes
Believe it or not, the IRS doesn't know everything. In fact, tax lawyers estimate they give the wrong answer to taxpayers' questions about 30 percent of the time.
Nobody's perfect. You expect mistakes from time to time, even from "experts," but 30 percent is pretty significant.
Of course, tax lawyers are also likely to tell you that in the event that the IRS gives you the wrong advice, you can't count on it if you're trying to dodge an accuracy related penalty. One exception to this could be if you are able to get the incorrect advice in writing; however, IRS agents are usually instructed to avoid giving written advice.
It is advised that you refrain from asking the IRS any question beyond the scope of what would be considered a rudimentary question. A wrong answer on even a question that seems to be simple could make your life chaotically miserable.
No. 2: It pays to be pushy
Sometimes in life you have to be a bit of a jerk. For some of us, it just comes naturally, we don't have to pretend. For others of us, it's a foreign concept that runs counter to how we would normally behave.