Skip to comments.Tax Refund Seizure
Posted on 04/16/2014 6:57:31 AM PDT by Kaslin
As has been widely reported, a single sentence in the 2008 Farm Bill, Public Law 110-246, is said to be responsible for the Internal Revenue Service seizing refunds from the children of taxpayers who the Social Security Administration says were inadvertently overpaid in the 1960s and 1970s. Are they kidding?
The story is ugly in so many ways. Of course, no one is claiming credit for the change in the law that the Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration is relying upon to seize taxpayer refunds. But, of course, there is the actual language in the bill for which that the author must take responsibility. The sponsor of the 2008 Farm Bill was Congressman Collin Peterson. There were no co-sponsors; this bill belongs to Mr. Peterson. Of interest and perhaps in defense of Mr. Peterson, the magic language was added to his bill after passage by both the House and the Senate; this writer has no idea by who or how. But how can that be?
Speaker Pelosi once famously told us You need to pass the bill to find out what is in it. One wonders if any Member of Congress even knew what was in this farm bill when it was finally passed. Of note, the Farm Bill of 2008 was passed over President Bushs veto. There is a message in this. The bill was important enough to override a presidential veto, but not important enough to be thoroughly studied before the vote.
It gets worse. The Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration are relying solely on the Table of Contents of Public Law 110-246. The Table of Contents states: Section 14219. Elimination of statute of limitations applicable to collection of debt by administrative offset. The body of the bill contains no such section, the bill itself goes from section 14217 to 15101. The Congressional Summary merely repeats what is in the Table of Contents.
The collection process completes the trifecta. The position of the government is that the child of the parent who received the refund directly or indirectly benefited from that payment to the parent and therefore must repay the incorrect payment, even if the payment was made forty years ago. This is regardless that the government has not the slightest idea how the money was spent and cannot possibly prove that there was a benefit to the child or the amount of that benefit.
We are left with way too many questions: (1) On the legal side of the coin, can Congress really retroactively waive a statute of limitations? Doesnt that in some way violate the contract in the Constitution that we will not change laws retroactively? Isnt this an ex post facto law? Is a listing in the Table of Contents of a law really a law if there is nothing in the body of the law? Can I be responsible to repay a payment incorrectly made to my father? And of course, where were the Courts, was there any due process in seizing a tax refund because a check was incorrectly sent to a third party? (This is when I wish I went to law school.) (2) On the political side of the coin, is there any legislation which the Congress is reading and studying before voting? Should not at least the author of a bill have known what changes were being made to his or her bill? How could the Congress of the United States of America pass such a law over a Presidential veto without studying every verb and consonant, including the Table of Contents?
So here it is: Dad received an incorrect payment from the Social Security Administration in 1971. He took the money and went to the racetrack. He lost his bet on a horse named Fire My Congressman and the Internal Revenue Service has taken his daughters tax refund in 2013 to get their money back. Really?
They had to Pass the Bill so that we, oh these many years later, could see what was In the Bill?
I read yesterday they have suspended this. Doesn’t make it less odious, but that is a good thing.
Actually I believe the government is so bankrupt they are grasping at straws to make their interest payments.
I agree, and it’s going to get worse, MUCH worse.
I wish I could remember where I read it, but there was a government sometime back that was so broke that they sent ‘tax collectors’ to citizens, homes and estates and took everything and anything of value to ‘pay’ for the taxes ‘owed’. Of course back then the Tax Collector made up his mind on the spot as to how much was ‘owed’.
A lot of people ended up in the ‘poor house’ and faced the possibility of ‘transportation’ to a colony on the other side of the world. Where they would work as indentured servants to pay off their debts and the cost of transporting them.
Next time they'll follow through.
Could you indicate your source? A lesson I've learned since I started posting, here. (I've got the scars...)
AHHH, which POTUS signed this bill into law in 2008?
Need to look this up.
You must be speaking of my Great, Great, Great, Great, Great... Grandpa who came here as an indentured servant from Sussex. Years later he went on to support the Continental Army and both his boys served in the Revolutionary War...the latest generation has proudly served in the Marines.
No President signed it.
There are so many things wrong with this. First of all,why is something like this in a “farm” bill? These bills that get passed are so confusing that I wonder if anyone understands them. Maybe that’s the whole reason for doing things the way they do. How does the gov’t. justify trying to collect money that THEY mistakenly or otherwise paid to a third party? All the time spent on this could be better applied to simplifying the whole process so that everybody knows where they stand. They need to change the laws we already have so they are readily understandable,rather than having the need of some high-dollar attorney to interpret them however they see fit.
FTA: “Of note, the Farm Bill of 2008 was passed over President Bushs veto.”
What needs to be looked up and why, exactly?
This “little” incident points out the fact that our Congress critters for the most part do not write our laws for the most part they don’t even read them. They are far to busy playing the part of ‘drunken lords’ to be bothered with such stuff. Instead it is their staffs in cahoots with the lobbyists who write our laws and advise the ‘drunken lords’ how to vote. The Congress critters come and go but the staff stays, they are the true power. To get an idea of how it works watch the 1st season of the BBC series “Yes Minister”.
It is a distinct possibility...
The great danger for us today is that the ones they will be coming after are the ones with assets Either in cash or property.
Just so they can give it to the ones they currently have to keep appeased, we (not-so)-jokingly call them the ‘Gibsmedats’.
And which Republican stalwarts spoke long and loud in furious opposition to this latest IRS outrage?
Gee, probably the same ones that rose to the defense of Cliven Bundy. Or at least dressed down the paramilitary Redcoats sent to rustle Bundy’s cattle.
Crickets again, huh?
This just shows how We The People are truly alone in our struggle. Time for the “good guys” to get better organized, since the Cavalry won’t be coming to help us.
sine qua non ex post facto.....
Sleight of hand...
Clinton pulled this in 1993 with tax law...
They can suspend law?
Law that Congress passed?
Well, I’ll be...
Why they should just sent em to Australia ...
“... the language was added to the bill after passage by both the House and the Senate...”
“... The Table of Contents of Public Law 110-246 states:
Section 14219. Elimination of statute of limitations applicable to collection of debt by administrative offset.
The body of the bill contains no such section ...”
Something is very very strange and very very wrong about this.
The lesson here is that Big Data has been entered into a massive database.
Total Information Awareness
It was stupid in the first place. But then what do you expect from bureaucrats?
An ancestor being transported doesn’t necessarily mean they were petty criminals, debtors and the like. High-born individuals who had become a thorn in the side of the current political powers that be sometimes found themselves bound for America against their will. Skilled tradesmen often had the cost of passage paid by their future employer. Primogeniture laws meant that children other than first born sons did not inherit, and so many sons of merchants and such, even minor nobility, would enter into indenture, but they generally knew where they were going and knew they weren’t going to be too badly mistreated, unlike the aforementioned petty criminals and debtors.
Toward the end of the headrights system that supported all the indentured servants being transported, they’d degenerated into actual kidnapping to feed the need for labor. The lack of unsettled frontier land east of the Blue Ridge eventually put an end to it along about the 1680’s. No land for headrights after the term of indenture had been served, no payoff for individuals paying cost of transport, so it collapsed. Then came chattel slavery.
My understanding was the money being collected was Social Security type payments to the deceased that family members cashed. If so, minorities and women will be hit the hardest.
I read the same thing recently and I'm searching for the article, but haven't found it yet.
I'm pretty sure I read it here on FR.
If there was fraud in continuing to collect Social Security payments to a deceased parent on the part of the individual(s) being levied then it makes sense and is legal.
Otherwise, it’s not. My parent’s debts are not mine in any sense of the word. Their obligations are settled with the estate, law requires the publication of a notice for settlement of debts within a set time limitation. Then, it’s done. Their obligations pass with them once the estate is settled.
“My parents debts are not mine in any sense of the word. “
No but the estate is responsible for them and the money from the estate has to cover them. So if there was say, Medicaid fraud, the government can come after the money.
So if a parent liquidates and then enters a Medicaid facility because they are broke, the government can later come after that money. It would be interesting to see the scenarios under which refunds were seized.
Another good reason to never have a refund.
My concern is intentionally shifting elderly onto Medicaid precisely because seizure of assets is permitted to cover cost of coverage under a program designed for individuals who are impoverished and presumably have no assets.
That is a different matter from coming after heirs long after an estate has been settled, for debts or overpayment. The heirs never were responsible, the estate was. Once settled, there no longer is an estate against which to levy.
“I read yesterday they have suspended this. Doesnt make it less odious, but that is a good thing.”
Yeah, after garnishing bank accounts of numerous citizens. What happens to the monies seized thus far?
“No but the estate is responsible for them and the money from the estate has to cover them. So if there was say, Medicaid fraud, the government can come after the money.”
After the estate has been conveyed to heirs? There is no estate after that. Am I wrong?
President Bush vetoed the bill but it was overridden twice. First in May 21, 2008: Vetoed H.R 2419 2007 U.S. Farm Bill Overridden by House, 316-108 (283 votes needed). Overridden by Senate, 82-13 (64 votes needed). Enacted as Pub.L. 110-234 over the President's veto. Due to a clerical error, this act was repealed by Pub.L. 110-246.
Then again June 18, 2008: Vetoed H.R. 6124 2007 U.S. Farm Bill. re-passed by Congress to correct a clerical error in HR 2419. Overridden by House, 317-109 (284 votes required). Overridden by Senate, 80-14 (63 votes needed). Enacted as Pub.L. 110-246 over the President's veto.
Under President George W. Bush Vetoes. Source
They have not totally suspended this practice. They will still do this if the debt was in the last 10 years.
In 2008, the House and Senate were led by dems. This appears to have been inserted in the bill in a sleazy way.
You can bet that Bush didn’t read it and neither did anyone else. LOL
Mine have been dead for a long time. They had no estate. Mom was smart, when it was her turn, she took herself off the titles to the trailer she and my brother owned, before applying for Hospice, as she was Medicare, it covered better.
He has nothing now. Drunk.
As I said on another thread, long term intent of this rule is set a precedent to allow reparations to descendants of slaves.
“a single sentence in the 2008 Farm Bill,”
Many things wrong here.
1. They have no right to do what they did, even it it’s in a law.
2. A bill that is about everything under the sun is an abuse of legislative power. A bill must be on one subject, and one subject only.
This is why tax collectors were so hated in the Bible. They took the share for the king and often inflated it to get a cut themselves.
But the child of an American parent who was overpaid when the child was a toddler is responsible for the actions of the parents and has to pay back the overpayment?
It depends on whether the heirs were complicit in some type of fraud.
Will welfare escapees be forced to repay the giverment ??
Isn’t it funny how no one in this administration knows anything? They don’t know how it got into the bill but they sure did know it was there since they started confiscating people’s money.
“It depends on whether the heirs were complicit in some type of fraud.”
Well, yeah. But these were children whose parent(s) were receiving & spending the funds on their behalf. It would by definition be difficult to prove in a court of law.
I know, I know. Tax Court is a different animal where you are guilty until proven innocent.
Still seems like an administrative money-grab of the first order.
If I’m reading this properly it was passed over a presidential veto, and who were the majority parties in the house and senate?
Are they going to give back tghe money they already took from tax filers this year???
Let’s just hope they aren’t adding interest and penalties on...