Dr. Peter Blood: Faith, there’s a witness that you can’t deny: yourself, sir! For if I’m not a physician, how is it I know that you’re a dying man? The death to which you’re dooming hundreds of poor men daily – in a frantic effor to send their souls to perdition before your own – is a light pleasantry compared to the bleeding death in the lungs to which the great Judge has condemned you.
Captain Blood 1935
Rose Tyler: I can see everything… all that is… all that was… all that ever could be.
The 9th Doctor: But that’s what *I* see. All the time. And doesn’t it drive you mad?
Doctor Who The Parting of the Ways 2005
Dr. John Watson: Why didn’t I think of that?
Sherlock Holmes: Because you’re an idiot. (Watson gives a look) No, no, no, don’t be like that, practically everyone is.
Sherlock A Study in Pink 2010
Even though it’s been years since I’ve worked at technical support the memories and instincts really never leave. When I walk by a computer I notice what it’s running, it’s speed, it’s response time. When I was still doing this on a daily basis I could generally tell if a system was infected in just s few seconds.
It’s the same in other professions I’ve spoken to locksmiths who notice every door that isn’t properly secured, carpenters can spot a door that isn’t properly square and a really good cook knows a bad meal even before they’ve tasted it.
In some professions this can be disconcerting, In my position I deal with authorities on a regular basis and police I’ve spoken to say at events they find themselves quickly picking out people who are trouble as the instincts simply can’t be turned off.
And that brings us to your local IRS agent.
We’ve been pretty hard here on the administration and the IRS over the scandal involving the examinations of Tea Party. It’s a pretty bad situation and the IRS deserves all the brickbats they have gotten for this as does the administration whose story has been re-written more than The Doctor has re-written the timeline.
but lets consider just for a moment what the IRS agent in the office deals with.
I don’t know if you’ve had reason to call an IRS office but agents over the phone start each call with an ID number that tags them to you. If there is any problem, or mistake they can now be identified in person.
They work for the most hated agency in the country and have to deal with a tax code so complicated that professionals concede that it can be interpreted in different ways.
That makes it difficult enough but there is one thing more
Larry: Say , after all making out the income tax is nothing.
Moe: What do you mean nothing?
Larry: When I get through, the income tax collector will get nothing!
Moe: You know it’s funny how people love to Gyp on their income tax
Shemp: That’s because it’s such a cinch, they never can catch smart guys like us
The Three Stooges:Income Tax Sappy 1954
While my mother always told me to pay the IRS first because the government has the right to take before court rather than after in culture, in movies and in reality the ability to pull one over on the IRS is celebrated and has been since long before I was born.
Now of course no person should be expected to pay a penny more then they are required to by law (Those Apple hearings were a joke) but there are many who go far beyond what the law allows and IRS agents have heard every trick, every sob story and every possible attempt to befuddle them and see it every single day.
When you deal with that, day in and day out, it’s hard to keep your trust for humanity, and even harder to be sympathetic even with the taxpayer, even the taxpayer who is totally in the right.
So while we dig to the bottom of the IRS scandal and prosecute those involved to the fullest extent of the law, all the way up the ladder, remember when the local grunt IRS agent is going over your return he’s doing it carefully not so much because of you, but for the example of every person he dealt with before.
As we get closer to the end of what is looking like the worst week in the history of the weekly paycheck the writing still goes on.
if you think that writing is worth more than $22 for the week, consider hitting DaTipJar below.