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None of you file a tax return?!?
Old 05-12-2008, 07:59 AM   #1
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None of you file a tax return?!?

A while back I started a thread about how I "discovered" the local Senior Center and how enriching the experience was, and still is. While in NY I decided to check out the Center here and found it to be similarly fun and interesting.

While chatting at a large table, the subject of taxes came up. After a lot of griping, one lady piped up, "I haven't filed a return in 5 years." Two other women said they they don't file anymore either, "Let them take us to jail".

Everyone laughed except me. I started feeling like I was surrounded by crazy people.

More to the point; what really happens when the IRS gets around to these people? There must be a bunch of them if I found three at a table for twelve. If they're still alive I imagine it could be pretty damaging to whatever assets one might have. If they're dead isn't it the executor's duty to tidy up the mess? Who wants that job!

So far, my position is that this is a wakeup call that those individuals can no longer cope with life's more complex tasks and its time they ask for, or accept some help. Can anyone offer more insight...anyone?
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:06 AM   #2
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Party pooper.

Wonder how much taxable income they have? They might not owe anything anyway.

But yes, worrisome. And parents are pretty clever at hiding problems from their kids. I know my FIL was good at that. In his case, it was health problems.

Hey, all of you that don't share financial info with your kids, you might get worse as you get old. Practice now!
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:10 AM   #3
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Party pooper.
In a thread discussing activities at a senior center, I find your choice of terminology to be somewhat disturbing...
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:15 AM   #4
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Something like 30% of families do not pay any income tax at all, so it would not surprise me if a few of the seniors did not file tax returns.

And the IRS is not some big nasty government agency that is to be feared. In my dealings with the IRS, the people have always been pleasant and helpful.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:24 AM   #5
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I would not be surprised by the seniors not having to file but still thinking they should. The IRS spends a lot explaining basic filing requirements. SSA benefits are not taxable unless you have significant other income and then you add the standard deduction and the exemptions, and most seniors have no filing requirment.

They talk like they do though.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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If you receive SS/SSD, you will receive an annual statement. On the reverse is a simple worksheet in which you plug the numbers (including any additional income) to determine if you need to file a return.

If your income consists of primarily SS/SSD (my son is on SSD, so I sort of know this "stuff") there is no need to file.

That's a problem with the current "rebate" program. Often, people do pay (minumum) tax, but they don't file a return (as in your example).

Perfectly legal, but sometimes it trips you up when a special program is put into place.

- Ron
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:29 AM   #7
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And the IRS is not some big nasty government agency that is to be feared. In my dealings with the IRS, the people have always been pleasant and helpful.


LOL!
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:39 AM   #8
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Party pooper.
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In a thread discussing activities at a senior center, I find your choice of terminology to be somewhat disturbing...
It all Depends.
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:41 AM   #9
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:43 AM   #10
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Wow, those rebels!
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Old 05-12-2008, 08:51 AM   #11
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When the IRS agents come around, there will be an outbreak of Alzheimer's.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:39 AM   #12
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In a thread discussing activities at a senior center, I find your choice of terminology to be somewhat disturbing...
Only if the words are reversed...
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:40 AM   #13
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The seniors are doing the country a service ... no rebates (if they don't file) !

Since retiring, I've found the filing process to be a net GAIN. Between the earned income credit, the child tax credit, and this years rebate ... WHO WOULDN'T FILE??
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:48 AM   #14
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Hmmmm - one year I said 'piss on it' for my 80 something Mom and got a nasty gram from the IRS.

Vanguard Lifestrategy Income in taxible. Even though she hadn't owed taxes in a 'zillion' years - if you get even 1 buck in div.'s - you gotta file - it was the rules!

naner naner.

I guess they never heard the old Bob Newhart comedy routine about the accountant.

heh heh heh - .
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Haven't filed in years
Old 05-12-2008, 12:57 PM   #15
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Haven't filed in years

but that doesn't stop them from harassing me to report why I don't have to each year along with the numbers to prove it.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:22 PM   #16
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These people that didn't file didn't get the $600 rebate either, did they?
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:12 PM   #17
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These people that didn't file didn't get the $600 rebate either, did they?
"I know a guy" at the coffee shop who apparently has little more than social security. He said the SS people sent him a short form, he expects to get a $300 stimulus.
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Old 05-12-2008, 04:26 PM   #18
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More to the point; what really happens when the IRS gets around to these people?

cf. Dean Hazel's tax revolt in Michigan.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:27 PM   #19
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I did returns for several people at the nursing home so they could get their $300. Come to find out, one of the residents actually owed $124 this year between her SS and her teacher's pension. She hasn't filed in years. I called the daughter-in-law back to let her know the situation and we decided to forget about filing. Let the IRS come get her. Either the nursing home gets all her money or the IRS gets it. Either way, she gets only $10 per week allowance.
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Old 05-12-2008, 10:22 PM   #20
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I called the daughter-in-law back to let her know the situation and we decided to forget about filing. Let the IRS come get her. Either the nursing home gets all her money or the IRS gets it.
Heaven help the executor.

By the time that my grandfather was so deep in dementia that he needed full-time care, he'd already blown off five years of tax returns (both state & federal). As my father started going through the houseful (literally) of five years of mail he found a number of IRS & state notifications, but after a year they gave up and just started adding on the interest with an annual penalty.

The frustrating thing is that the first year my GF was owed refunds that would have handily paid the next two year's worth of taxes. The IRS didn't see it that way... as far as they were concerned every years restarted at zero, then penalties were added, and interest continued compounding.

Ohio said "We follow IRS policy."

Two years later it was all sorted out and forgiven. It cost several hundred in legal fees (a very generous family lawyer) and the net to both the IRS & state was less than $100. My father took solace in all of those govt employees having to devote all of that time time without collecting more than pennies per hour of effort.
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