23 March 2009

Bailed Out Companies Owe Back Taxes

I've been behind for the last couple of days. I changed the template of the blog (and believe me, I'm DEFINITELY a newbie at this), and I screwed some of the editing features up. But I'm back up and running. And in case you're wondering, I'm still flabbergasted by our federal government.

This was released over the weekend, but I've been meaning to post it here. It turns out that 13 firms that are receiving bailout funds from the porkulus packages actually OWE back taxes to the federal government to the tune of over $220 million (which admittedly seems minuscule when compared to the billions and trillions we're spending now).
At least 13 companies receiving billions of dollars in bailout money owe a total of more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes, a key lawmaker said Thursday.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., chairman of a House subcommittee overseeing the federal bailout, said two companies owe more than $100 million apiece.

The House Ways and Means subcommittee on oversight discovered the unpaid taxes in a review of tax records from 23 companies receiving the most money, Lewis said as he opened a hearing on the issue.

The absolute hilarity of it all would be sidesplitting if it weren't so nauseating. But never fear. Democrats are on the case! '"This is shameful. It is a disgrace," said Lewis. "We are going to get to the bottom of what is going on here."'

Of course you are. So you're going to review all 470 institutions that received money, right? "Lewis said the panel plans to review tax records from other firms receiving federal money, but he was unsure if it would look at every one of them."

But why, Mr. Lewis? Shouldn't we review all the bailout recipients to make sure that there isn't money owed elsewhere? No, apparently we operate on the honor system. "Banks and other companies receiving federal money were required to sign contracts stating they had no unpaid taxes, Lewis said. But he said the Treasury Department did not ask them to turn over their tax records." How's that working out for ya'?

Well, we should at least get the Treasury Department involved, since this kinda sorta concerns them, right?
No one from the Treasury Department appeared at Thursday’s hearing. Lewis said he asked Treasury officials for a private briefing on their efforts to uncover unpaid taxes, as well as someone to testify at Thursday’s hearing.

“They said no one was available,” Lewis said in an interview.

They're probably just too busy.

But don't worry, dear readers. The IRS is aware of the situation and will handle it.
The Internal Revenue Service “has every expectation that these amounts will be paid and is committed to collect every dollar of taxes that are owed,” IRS spokesman Frank Keith said in a statement. “The IRS recognizes that those entities that receive taxpayer support have a special obligation to pay their taxes, and these taxpayer accounts will remain closely monitored by the IRS to ensure that the full amount of taxes due are paid.”

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