My New #1 Reason I Hate This Recession...

...because nearly every day I get another letter from some near-bankrupt city, state, county, or other taxing authority which says basically:

"we have this vague, non-fact based hypothesis that your company owes us a lot of taxes you are not paying.  To avoid the determination that you owe us lots more money for some unproven or unspecified reason, you must send us approximately a two-inch stack of information that it will take from 8-10 hours to prepare, including..."

The most recent of these just came from the state of Michigan. There are several taxes that I don't pay because they clearly do not apply to me, but I just got a letter saying basically they will assume I owe them unless I fill out a four page form and send them a bunch of detailed financial information.

RRRRRRRRR.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com Methinks

    States have become more aggressive than ever - especially states given to extra stupidity, including New York and Michigan. This certainly encourages me to do business. Just not in the United States and certainly not in the states that give me the hardest time.

  • Chris K.

    Asking because I just don't know. What happens if you ignore it?

  • CMJDad

    Try operating in NJ, especially if Jon Corzine is re-elected next week. I'm wondering what the weather will be like in Costa Rica for the next 4 years.

  • http://www.cogfactory.net colson

    Lol - go to eLance, hire someone in asia to fill out the form for you. But have them write it in their native tongue. That should tie the state of Michigan up for a while.

    Or better yet, fill out the form in Engrish.

  • perlhaqr

    CMJDad: Almost certainly nicer than the weather in New Jersey. :)

    Shorter Michigan: "It's up to you to prove at your expense that you don't owe us money. Or we'll shoot you."

  • Dr. T

    Does anyone remember a time when our governments protected us from harm instead of being the predominant causes of harm?

    If a pollster asked me, "What do I fear most?," my answer would be, "Government." It ranks higher than murderers, burglars, car-jackers, muggers, extortionists, con men, influenza, and bacterially-contaminated foods combined.

  • D. Majewski

    Make sure that you send them an invoice for your time to fill out their forms. I'm sure they won't pay it and probably will just ignore it. If they ignore your invoice you could always send them a notice of default after 30 days.

  • Methinks

    It ranks higher than murderers, burglars, car-jackers, muggers, extortionists, con men, influenza, and bacterially-contaminated foods combined.

    Of course it does. Murderers, burglars, muggers, bacteria and disease all work independently to take you down. The government centralizes all that stuff and brings it crashing down on your head all at once.

    CMJDad,

    Better yet, take a look at the US Virgin Islands Development Program. Much more attractive than Costa Rica.

  • http://devilish-details.blogspot.com/ Mesa Econoguy

    Contrarily, I am immensely enjoying this recession/our new savior administration, because the combination is turning out some of the best anti-government arguments in several lifetimes, all in the short space of mere months.

    These “smart people” are being shown for what they are: Genuinely Stupid People (GSP ™).

    This is some of the funniest stuff in a long time, if it doesn’t completely destroy us….

  • ap

    I'm trying to close my mother's estate. The State of Arizona has "lost" records of all the estimated estate income tax payments for the last two years. If I couldn't produce images of well annotated canceled checks I'd probably have to double pay these taxes. And it this hadn't happened to me, I'd probably be skeptical of your posts.

  • Fred from Canuckistan . . .

    Interesting. Negative Option Billing has been adopted by taxation authorities.

    A very dangerous & slippery slope.

  • http://coyoteblog Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas

    I ignore it. This act just generates a closer relationship because I seem to be getting more correspondence on a regular basis. But, that is what they invented shredders for.

  • Sol

    Coyote, what parks do you run in Michigan?

  • http://www.aguanomics.com David Zetland

    Oh, this is really a classic. Seems like the government is learning a few things from the "your account will be closed unless you confirm your password" spammers. Wonderful post.

  • Allen

    Are these places you've even done business in? Just curious about the extent of their fishing.

  • perlhaqr

    Fred from Canuckistan: Even that's an improvement over how governments normally work. Usually they provide you with a service, offer no opportunity to decline it, and tell you that if you don't pay the bill (taxes) they'll lock you up or kill you if you resist.

  • Solarno

    Good news Coyote, according to the Yahoo! headlines, the recession is over! Michigan, and all other states you do business in no longer need more of your money or time. Oh happy day!

  • Peter

    If it wasn't sent certified mail obviously you never got it.

  • Fred from Canuckistan . . .

    "Even that’s an improvement over how governments normally work. Usually they provide you with a service, offer no opportunity to decline it, and tell you that if you don’t pay the bill (taxes) they’ll lock you up or kill you if you resist.

    perlhaqr so you've visited Ontario ?

  • Dan D

    Yep, I know of a catalog marketer who is bombarded constantly with states and cities sending letters "hey, you apparently ship products to our citizens, you owe us several business taxes, here are the registration forms". Often they subcontract to contingency-fee firms who do the actual harassment. Their controller told me he deals with the most persistent ones by taking their calls, going off on a rant about their corruption in operating a shakedown in violation of interstate commerce law, and demands an address to which he sends a strongly-worded cease and desist letter. If they don't drop it, he files a complaint with his state Attorney General's office, useful for a press release every so often, since the Attorney General is always waiting his or her turn to run for Governor.

  • http://ecampus.una.edu.ni/user/view.php?id=6067 dellamorey

    costs android contributed possible include levels weathering broadly