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IRS SWAT Team – Hunt for Taxes

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IRS Raid 2023_07_20_13_51_43_Dozens_of_Armed_IRS_Agents_In_Tactical_Gear_Raid_Florida_Business_Report

The story about what looked like a SWAT team was a swarm of armed IRS Agents that stormed into a business in Florida has gone viral. Many point to this as: See what happens when you give IRS agents lethal power! I think this needs clarification, and everyone knows I am opposed to arming IRS agents. Nevertheless, there is a HUGE distinction between income taxes and payroll taxes.  One you owe personally, but the other is theft if you collected it from employees and did not send it to the IRS, which makes you a TRUSTEE.

Back in the 1970s, I had two armed IRS agents come in with guns and handcuffs. They said I owed payroll taxes. I said wait a minute; my accountant handles all of that. I called him on the phone, and he then said put me on with them. He said he writes the checks on payroll himself and sends them in. It just so happened I was getting refund checks often. One had just come in, and it was on my desk. I said if I owe you people money, why do I keep getting refund checks? They looked at the check, and it had some code they recognized that denoted it was a refund for payroll taxes. It turned out to be a computer error on their part, and every time we would send in the payroll taxes, it kept trying to apply it to one month where I owed $2 and promptly refunded the rest. But they were addressed to me personally, so I had no idea there was any distinction. They left, and I had to pay interest for cashing the checks that I somehow should have known was their mistake.

A few years ago, again, I got a refund check and just deposited it. Once more, I was charged interest and penalties this time because I should have known it was an IRS mistake. The third mistake was that they put a lien on my house, and I never even got a bill. Once again, they failed to credit a payment I had sent in the previous year, but it took months to get the lien lifted.

My three encounters with the IRS have always been mistakes on their part. Only the first involving payroll taxes was I confronted by armed IRS agents, and that was simply because payroll taxes puts you in a position as a trustee where you collected the money for the government. I hope that armed IRS agents are confined to this category. I no longer cash refund checks. I have to pay penalties and interest because knowing when the IRS makes a mistake is my burden.

To clarify this armed assault on a business, it was Elite Payroll Solutions. This was not a company that was behind in paying its taxes. This is why the assault was more of a SWAT team; in this case, they were supposed to collect payroll taxes for small businesses and send them to the IRS. That places this in the TRUSTEE category, which is different from simply not paying your income tax.

A word to the Wise – Use only the Big Payroll Companies, not a small one that beats the price.