Changing IRS Collection Policy

Today TaxMama wants to talk about a disturbing IRS policy. It’s based on this question from a reader – “The IRS is wanting to garnish my wages for back taxes from 1998. My ex and I are both responsible, but he is claiming self employment, living with a very wealthy girlfriend. So IRS is coming after my paycheck and I am going to lose my job of 16 years. He drives a new sports car, just got back from the St Thomas Islands…I am disabled and holding down a modestly-paying job. IRS harassing me for the last 3 years. I have sent them a NOVEL on him with names, phone numbers, his contractors license. But IRS just says, “We do not get involved in civil matters, both of you are responsible and we will collect wherever we can find money or assets most easily. But we do appreciate the information.” My ex has told me numerous times, IRS will never collect from him because they’ll never find his assets or money.”

This has got to stop. IRS cannot maintain a policy of punishing the law-abiding spouse, who works within the system – while reinforcing criminal behavior, and in effect, rewarding the tax thief.
I understand that it is hard to find the income source, or assets of sophisticated culprits like this. But when IRS is provided with specific information about paying customers or clients, where accounts receivable can be garnished – the Service should be compelled to levy those funds.
What’s the big deal? They already have a process in place to alert employers and clients, based on the information generated via the 1099-filing system. There’s no reason IRS can’t use that same series of levy notices.
One of two things will happen if IRS does this – either IRS will collect a lot more money, sooner; Or the clients and customers will stop patronizing the criminal and his income will dramatically drop.
And another thing IRS must be required to consider when collecting joint debt – lifestyle. When the evasive spouse is living an extravagant life, driving expensive cars, taking luxurious trips, there should be a legal process in place to compel him or her to produce specific evidence about how that life-style is supported. And if they claim to have no income, because someone is ‘keeping’ him or her, then, that person providing the ‘support’ should be considered the responsible financial party. After all this tax criminal is technically their dependent.
By legally defining the relationship, one of two things will happen – IRS will collect sooner, getting the money from the sugar-daddy or sugar-mommy; Or those fun-loving friends will dump the irresponsible ex’s like a hot potato and stop conspiring with them to cheat both IRS and their former spouses.
Frankly, I am sick and tired of seeing good people suffer tax and credit hell for a decade or more, while the ex, who usually caused the whole problem in the first place, walks away with impunity.
The system needs to be changed so IRS is directed to pursue the elusive ex – or if IRS chooses not to – to only be permitted to collect half the debt from the accessible spouse.
So, please join me in submitting this issue to the Taxpayer Advocate so she can recommend legislation in this area. You can use the link below. Limit your submission to 2000 characters, including spaces.,,id=117703,00.html

Thank you!

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