June 21, 2009

THE CAPRICIA MARSHALL TAX STORY makes TaxProf. Also Skippy, who observes: “Apparently this woman is clueless on the protocol we working slobs of the country have to adhere to. If one of us ‘non wealthy, non connected’ americans didn’t file tax returns for 2 years, we’d have the irs breathing down our neck threatening to take everything we have.”

Plus, from The Tax Lawyer: “I was going to add up how many Obama appointees/employees have tax problems when it dawned on me that I could save time by counting the ones who don’t.”

And since some readers questioned whether this story amounted to much, I emailed actual tax professor Paul Caron of TaxProf, and he responded:

I think it is important because (1) it fits the narrative of the Obama Administration’s ardor to raise taxes on everyone else when they themselves disdain their obligations, and only pay their taxes/file their returns when outed in the nomination process; (2) her job is protocol for goodness sense — one would think attention to detail is job requirement #1; (3) her explanation — blaming the rich cardiologist husband and the post office — is especially lame; (4) we’ll see if the tax refund storyline is really true — are they really that rich that they didn’t notice or care about the supposed $37k in tax refunds; (5) even if it is, the size of the fine for noncompliance does not excuse the failure to follow the law; if you’re stopped for DUI, it’s no defense to say that you didn’t kill anybody; and (6) the class distinction (as you note) is especially striking — for lower income folks, the “innocent spouse” defense is very hard to win, and often results in shackling the non-represented wife with the tax obligations of the crooked husband who has fled; here, the rich lady’s defense of blaming the rich husband is more acceptable in elite circles.

Point #4 reminds me of the great scene in Caddyshack with Chevy Chase:

Here’s an uncashed check for $10,000.

Keep it.

There’s a bunch of them! And a summons.

It’s yours.

Pretty pathetic, Ty.

Pathetic? Maybe for you, Lacey.

For me, there’s a subtle perfection in everything I do.

Well, I feel that way myself.

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