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Seminole, Texas, United States
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Sir Winston Churchill

Thursday, February 25

Who's the Hero

I was just reading the "manifesto" of Andrew Joseph Stack, the man that flew his small plane into the Eschelon building in Austin, Texas last week.

Before reading it, I had heard that Stack's adult daughter, who now lives in Norway, made the comment that his actions were inappropriate but that he was a hero.

Your dad was no hero, chick.

What he was and what he represents is a horrifying truth in America: with the way the IRS does business this type of event should not come as a shock.

If you don't know someone who has had difficulties with the IRS, then you are in the minority.  If you have had problems with the IRS yourself, don't consider yourself special.  It's pretty common in our country with the current IRS policies and procedures.

In fact, I have personally experienced the IRS meat grinder. Several years ago, due to false information filed by a former spouse, my husband and I filed our tax return only to be notified that our refund was being withheld to pay $2,400 in past due taxes and penalties.  After doing the necessary research and submitting all the proving documentation, it was apparent that the past due taxes were not our responsibility.  That, in fact, our refund should not have been withheld.

You'd think.

It took almost EIGHTEEN (18) MONTHS of telephone calls with dozens of different IRS offices and departments and people and letter after letter after letter repeating THE SAME INFORMATION before the IRS finally acknowledged that, Yes . . . we are entitled to our refund and the back taxes were the sole responsibility of the former spouse.

But . . . we did not get our refund. The IRS advised us that since we did not prove BEFORE the tax refund garnishment that the debt was not ours, then we had no refund coming to us. According to the IRS, we should have proven the debt was not ours before we even knew about it. When the taxpayer owes money to the IRS, he could lose everything if it is not paid. If the IRS owes the taxpayer money, there is no hurry to pay if it gets paid at all.

In the end, we both felt like we had been run over by a truck but at least we did not owe the IRS any money.  We got screwed out of our refund and felt relief that that was all they were going to do. That was a big wake up call . . . the voluntary taxes from decades ago are now mandatory and are being used against us. And in the case of Mr. Stack, caused a senseless and avoidable tragedy.

I empathize with Mr. Stack's frustration and feelings of hopelessness at the hands of the IRS and its inane policies. But he was no hero.

The gentleman killed in the building after the plane crashed was Vernon Hunter.  His son took issue with Stack's daughter's "hero" comment.  As should we all.

"My Dad served two tours in Vietnam. My Dad was the hero."

Yes, sir. He was.

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