Today on WalletPop


A new way to earn some extra money: IRS informant – The IRS pays people a portion of the money collected from tax cheats when you give them information that helps catch the fraudsters.

Fast food employee highlights credit card risk – Little machines called “skimmers” make it easy for people to steal your credit card information after you hand your credit card to them.

Prosperity Theology: Gospel or blasphemy? – Exposing the fraud that is “prosperity gospel” or “prosperity theology”.

40 days of Frivolous Tax Arguments: Compliance with an administrative summons issued by the IRS is voluntary.


IRS sends taxpayer an administrative summons. Taxpayer claims that responding and complying is voluntary. Not so. A summons is a command to appear, testify, and produce documents, and the IRS is authorized to issue one. The district courts will enforce the summons, if necessary. And yes, there can be criminal penalties.

40 days of Frivolous Tax Arguments: The IRS must prepare federal tax returns for a person who fails to file.


Supporters of this bogus theory say that it’s the IRS’s responsibility to prepare and file a tax return for them if they don’t file. But the tax law really says that if someone doesn’t file their return, the IRS can prepare their return (i.e. make up numbers for the person). It doesn’t say that the IRS must prepare the return. And the tax law doesn’t say that a person is excused from filing a tax return.

Cheating Patriots Cheat Their Way to an NFL Record*


Yes. It’s true. The Cheater Patriots are now in the NFL record books for “going” 16-0 in the regular season. Of course, I put “going” in quotes, because we all know that their record really should not be even be considered a record. They were caught cheating early in the season, and should at least have that win taken away from them.

Instead, the NFL basically gave the Cheater Patriots a big “oh well” on the whole deal. Sure, they got a fine and lost a draft pick, but they should have had to give up the win against the Jets. I’m not sure why they got away with this. Lord knows that if it was the Green Bay Packers caught videotaping things in direct violation of the rules, we wouldn’t have heard the end of it all season. Nope. And there would have been much bigger sanctions. Continue reading

40 days of Frivolous Tax Arguments: Taxpayers can reduce their federal income tax liability by filing a “zero return.”


This one is at least a little creative. File a tax return showing no taxable income, and your taxes are zero. That would work if you really have no income. But since most of us have W-2s and 1099s and such, that “zero income” return is actually false… and you really do owe taxes.

Don’t you kind of wonder who is coming up with these arguments? I mean… how can they think it’s okay to just lie and say their income is zero? It makes no sense.

Music you bought may not be yours to listen to as you please


A lawsuit filed in Arizona shows that the music industry wants to control how you listen to the music you purchase. Jeffrey Howell purchased (legally) about 2,000 songs on various CDs. He then transferred those song s to his personal computer, and has been listening to them from there. And now he’s being sued by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

The RIAA’s lawyer, Ira Schwartz, says in legal filings that the MP3 files Howell made from the CDs are “unauthorized copies” of the copyrighted songs.

Now, going after those who download songs illegally or share downloaded songs illegally – that’s one thing. But this is ludicrous. The guy purchased the CDs, and has a right to personally listen to them however he chooses. So long as he’s not “distributing” those songs, how can the RIAA really go after him? This screams insanity. Continue reading

40 days of Frivolous Tax Arguments: Payment of tax is voluntary.


Like yesterday’s bunk, this false assertion relies upon the idea that taxes are voluntary. Again, the concept that our tax system is based upon voluntary assessment and payment. But that doesn’t mean that taxes are voluntary all together. It means that taxpayers give up their information and tell the IRS how much they’re supposed to pay under the tax law.

We can go straight to the Internal Revenue Code, which imposes a tax on the taxable income of individuals, estates, and trusts as determined by tax tables.

Protesters have known to get cute too, and try to avoid taxes by saying that they just don’t know if income is taxable or not. That one doesn’t fly either.

One way to spot a really bad auditing firm


I’m embarrassed for this auditing firm. Here are their rates:

Non CPA – Staff – $35 / Hour
CPA – Non Partners – California Certified CPA – $50 / Hour
CPA – Partner – California Certified CPA – $85 / Hour

Sorry, but any auditor who charges rates like that is giving you an audit opinion that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on.