Eavesdropping Doll.


Little Suzy got a doll at her birthday party.

It could sing and dance and talk, so she named it Smarty.

In her bedroom all alone with Smarty, Suzy harkened

To the tiny dolly voice as the shadows darkened.


“Look in Mommy’s wallet for her credit card pin number”

Said Smarty to sweet Suzy as she began to slumber.

“Does your daddy pay his taxes?” Smarty asked next day.

(Suzy was quite sad when the police took him away.)


Suzy and her Smarty went together ev’rywhere,

Recording who said what to who at home and at daycare.

Ms Rodriguez, Suzy’s friend from the dollar store,                                                                                                                                                    

Was picked up by the sheriff and was heard from nevermore.


One day poor Smarty’s battery began to fade away.

She whispered to her Suzy to go down to the parkway.

And there a van as black as night took both of them inside,

And now in a large dollhouse underground they do reside.


From a story on Yahoo News

Uncle Sam to Pay Millions to Illegal Aliens, Courtesy of the IRS!


During a hearing last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley asked IRS Commissioner John Koskinen about the tax consequences of the President’s unilateral action that essentially grants amnesty to five million people in the country illegally,  specifically as it relates to their eligibility for the earned income tax credit (EITC). Guidance issued by the IRS in 2000 suggests individuals benefitting from the President’s immigration action will be eligible to claim the refundable EITC for previous tax years in which they were not authorized to work in the United States.   Grassley asked Koskinen whether the IRS intended to revisit the 2000 guidance in light of the President’s executive action.  Koskinen agreed to respond and recently did so by letter.  The letter confirms the IRS intends to stick by its previous interpretation of the EITC eligibility requirements.  As a result, individuals in the country illegally who are benefitting from the President’s action will be eligible to claim the EITC for up to three previous tax years even though it would be based on earnings made while working illegally in the United States. According to IRS data, the average EITC credit in 2012 was just over $2,300 and the maximum available credit in 2014 is  $6,143.  Grassley made the following comment on this information.


“An estimated five million people in the country illegally will remain here under the President’s executive action.  Given the IRS’ interpretation of tax rules intended to prohibit undocumented  workers from qualifying for the EITC, these individuals will be eligible to claim billions of dollars in tax benefits based on earnings from unauthorized work in the United States.  With the stroke of a pen, the President rewarded those working illegally in the United States with a tax benefit that is designed to encourage low-income individuals to enter the workforce.  Given that the IRS is intent on standing by its present interpretation of the eligibility requirements, I’m working on legislation to uphold an important principle that many of us in Congress support.  The tax code shouldn’t reward those who broke our immigration laws.”

Ode to the IRS.


I put my money in the bank and one fine day I find

The IRS has waltzed right in to rob me till I’m blind.

I haven’t broken any law, I have no mob connection;

I might be ‘structuring’, they say, and need a good inspection.


They say the pattern I display when putting money in

Is suspicious, so I have to take it on the chin.

And even if I get it back, they keep a modest fee –

Words begin to fail me, unless it’s ‘rapparee’!


Now I cannot pay the bills nor send my kids to school;

And to all the world I look like some financial fool.

And do you wonder, Uncle Sam, why terrorists might flourish

In a land where Fed’ral law such a thing will nourish?

Six Holidays You Never Knew You Needed.


We don’t know how it happened, but every year on September 19th people with nothing better to do celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day.  Except it should be called International Talk like Robert Newton Day, since the British actor was the one to come up with the stereotypical pirate accent and vocabulary when he played Long John Silver.

The holiday referred to above is symptomatic of our disturbing descent into triviality.  We must have something to celebrate every day of the year, no matter how inconsequential.  That being the case, here are 6 holidays you can use to fool your friends and maybe fool your boss into giving you it off:

  1. October 3. International Walk Like a Can Opener Day.  Canned goods are not going away anytime soon, and neither are can openers.  Just how you would walk like a can opener is not something we care to speculate on right now – we had a bad night.  However, someone somewhere will undoubtedly figure it out and then there will be Can Opener Marathons for charity.
  2. November 13. International Old Timey Radio Day.  This could almost be a legitimate holiday, if we chose to focus on talents like Jack Benny and Edward R. Murrow.  But we don’t so choose.  Instead, the day is dedicated to the likes of Vic and Sade, Lum and Abner, and Colonel Stoopnagle.  Never heard of them?  Well, take the day off from work and listen to their scratchy recordings on Youtube!
  3. December 14. International Sandpaper Appreciation Day.  Where would we be without sandpaper?  Especially in kindergarten, where it is wrapped around two wooden blocks and then rubbed together as some kind of percussion instrument.  Try using it as wallpaper.  Or as a placemat at dinner.  Carry some in your purse or wallet.  See how it chews.  And then collapse in existential despair when you learn there is no sand in sandpaper – only aluminum oxide.
  4. January 2. Prinking Day.  This is a made up old English custom, wherein the village squire would go from hovel to hovel on Prinking day to distribute gilded pine cones and hand-turned splinters to his poor shivering and starving tenants.  Today we celebrate this old English custom by going to the Mall to shop and eating at an overpriced Japanese noodle house run by some big box store.
  5. February 22. Leap Day.  Due to an astronomical miscalculation, we have to add one minute to one day each year in order to even things out and not be called in for an audit by the IRS.  So February 22nd has been arbitrarily chosen to tack on the sixty seconds.  Just think of all you can do with this extra minute in your life!  We personally recommend you spend it rubbing two sandpaper blocks together.
  6. March 4.   International Bird Call Day.  What fun!  Everyone packs a picnic lunch of hard boiled eggs, Triscuits, and lemon curd to take into the woods.  After lunch and a nap, everyone finds a comfortable spot and starts calling “Hey birds!”  The fun only ends when the park rangers chase everyone away.


This celebratory blog is brought to you by Walmart.  They can fill all your calendar needs — and if you need more than one calendar in your life we sure feel sorry for YOU!

If I Were President.



There’s an old Betty Boop cartoon called “If I Were President” which is fun to watch, even in an off election year.  In it Betty promises that streetcars will not only run on time, but go up the sides of buildings to pick people up so they don’t have to come all the way down to the lobby and out into the street; now THAT is a presidential candidate with customer service on her mind!

In a similar vein, I have decided to list the 9 things I would do if I were elected to the Oval Office:

  1. Abolish the IRS. A no-brainer, right?  They’ve always been about as popular as sand in spinach dip.  I propose that instead of hounding people to pay their taxes with the IRS as muscle, I will ask Bill Gates to chip in some of his astounding wealth to keep us afloat, and then in return give him the deed to the Moon.  Cuz, yeah, America owns the Moon, right?  (Wink-wink; there’s one born every minute!)
  2. Make Tom Cruise Vice President. How cool would that be? Ol’ Tom would get after those terrorists and scofflaws and beat ‘em to a pulp and then make love to every beautiful woman in the room.  In just one afternoon.  The rest of the time I’d put him on display at the Smithsonian.
  3. Give every American citizen over the age of twenty a free electric car. Oh wait . . . my campaign manager says I misspoke.  I meant to say a free electric razor, okay?  (Whew!  Almost blew that PAC donation from Big You-Know-What!)
  4. Shake hands with babies and kiss all their mothers. I don’t CARE what my campaign manager says about this one – he can campaign HIS way and I’ll campaign MY way.  And guess which one of us will have the most fun?
  5. Outlaw parking meters. If cities want to raise money they can steal hubcaps like the rest of us.
  6. Open an all-you-can-eat cafeteria in the White House. Whenever some foreign nabob shows up he or she can just wait in line for a corn dog and custard pudding, instead of wasting the president’s time and all that money with fancy-schmancy banquets.  And they’d better be good tippers, too, or I just might have Congress declare war on their country.
  7. If I’m elected, I promise to take a long nap every afternoon; I’ve learned from long experience that that is the best way to stay out of trouble.
  8. I will handle Congress with a firm hand. If they won’t pass a decent and timely Federal budget I will send them to their rooms without any supper and they won’t be allowed to watch reruns of The West Wing.
  9. Replace our stodgy national anthem with “Yes, We Have No Bananas!” That song will be much more catchy at baseball games and no one will pop a tonsil trying to reach those treacherous high notes in the current anthem.  It’ll be good for baseball, good for the country, and it won’t hurt the native banana industry one little bit!



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Taxing Native Americans — An Unequal Standard?


U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota) has praised the Senate’s bipartisan passage of a bill to exclude tribal benefits, such as healthcare, education, and housing, from any individual’s gross taxable income. The Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act (H.R. 3043) would amend the Internal Revenue Code to ensure the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) applies the same treatment to tribal government programs, services, and benefits that it presently applies to the states.

“Native Americans deserve fair treatment under federal tax law, and for years the IRS failed to deliver that fairness,” said Thune. “I am pleased this important legislation, which I am proud to cosponsor, will soon be signed into law, ensuring that tribal benefits receive the same tax treatment as similar benefits provided by the states. While there is more work to be done to address the concerns facing Indian Country, this legislation is a significant step forward in honoring our treaty commitments to work government to government.”

Thune is a cosponsor of the Senate companion to the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2013 (S. 1507), and as a member of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, has worked closely with members of the committee to garner support for the legislation and usher the bill through the Senate. The bill now heads to the president for his signature.

Currently, general welfare benefits administered by the state and federal government are excluded from an individual’s taxable income by the IRS, but tribal benefits have not received the same tax treatment. The Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act not only amends the tax code to treat tribal programs similar to state and federal programs, but it also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to require education and training of IRS field agents on federal Indian law.



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IRS Defrauded of $5 Billion Through Fake Refunds!


GAO: Action Needed to Combat $5 Billion Tax Refund Fraud

New Report Calls on IRS to Implement Stronger Safeguards to Protect Private Taxpayer Information

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must take bold and innovative action to combat more than $5 billion in fraudulent identity theft tax refunds, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report, requested by leaders on the Senate Finance and Aging Committees as well as the House Ways and Means Committee, said the IRS should take additional steps to strengthen its pre-refund and anti-fraud efforts to effectively stop tax refund fraud before it even starts.

“The American people should be able to trust the IRS to protect their identities, preserve their privacy, and ensure their hard-earned money isn’t being carelessly flushed down the drain.  Sadly, that’s not the case,” said Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).“As the GAO made clear today, there is more that can be done to improve the agency’s anti-fraud capabilities. Moving forward, I hope the IRS will take a serious look at these recommendations and work with Congress to implement smart safeguards that not only better serve the victims of identity theft refund fraud but, ultimately, stop it before it even starts.”

“By the time IRS matches all of the payroll information it collects with the tax returns it receives, billions of dollars in fraudulent refunds have already been sent out the door.  This is a serious and unacceptable issue that must be addressed now,” said Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). “This GAO report is an important step forward as it makes a number of important recommendations for verifying that taxpayers are getting the refunds they deserve and that the fraudsters don’t get them instead.   I’m working closely with my colleagues here in the Congress and with the IRS to fight this serious and growing problem that hurts both citizens and the integrity of our tax administration.”

“This problem isn’t going away, unless we go hard after these criminals while also doing what we can to prevent this crime,” said U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), chairman of the Aging Committee and a proponent of various initiatives to curb ID theft and tax fraud. “Too many Americans already have paid a high price, especially those unfortunate enough to have fallen victim to identity theft.  Many of them sometimes end up waiting years just to get their own tax refund.  The time has come for Congress to act.”

“Despite efforts to prevent tax refunds from being paid to con artists who have stolen the identities of taxpayers, the IRS paid $5.2 billion in refunds based on fraudulent tax returns in 2013,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee. “These fraudulent tax refund payments waste taxpayer dollars and jeopardize the legitimate refunds of taxpayers.  The IRS must do more to prevent fraudulent tax refunds from being paid to fraudsters rather than to their rightful claimant.”

“The IRS is not doing enough to protect Americans from the terrible crime of identity theft and fraud,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI).  “In one case, the IRS received over 2,000 returns from a single address – paying out over $3.3 million in refunds.  That is not just a simple error, that is clear mismanagement.  IRS must ensure that all is being done to stop detect fraudulent payments, protect hard-earned taxpayer dollars, and stop the crime of tax fraud.”

Identity theft (IDT) refund fraud occurs when a fraudster files a false tax return using a stolen Social Security number and other personal information and receives a tax refund from the IRS.  The IRS estimates that in 2013, it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent IDT refunds.

GAO and the IRS both agree that this large problem is an evolving threat as fraudsters are adapting to additional controls the IRS has implemented to combat IDT refund fraud.  Fraudsters are able to take advantage of the IRS’ “look-back” compliance efforts, in which the IRS issues tax-refunds before completing all compliance checks.

GAO recommends that the IRS take additional actions to enhance its pre-refund anti-fraud efforts, as preventing fraud is more effective than “claw-back” recovery efforts.



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