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Audit reveals federal agencies delinquent, IRS can't collect

Money is the topic of the year for most people, agencies, states and the federal government as the economy sluggishly recovers from the recent recession. Bills are hard to pay for everyone, and many find themselves in serious debt. In fact, one of the biggest topics of the current election is the country's outstanding debt and what should be done to fix it.

The other major topic in the current election is taxes. No matter what the outcome is, everyone who earns money in the United States will be required to pay them. When the Internal Revenue Service doesn't get the funds that they say they are owed, they come calling. First is an audit, then a delinquency judgment and possibly wage garnishment or a bank levy. Even though the average citizen is under the enforcement of the IRS, it seems as though there are some who are getting away with delinquency - and they not only answer to the government, they are agencies of it.

According to a recent report, there are a number of federal agencies that have failed to pay their payroll taxes. As powerful as the IRS seems to be, the taxing agency does not have the authority to enforce the same remedies that they have against an individual or a business. The findings were released as a part of a report issued on Thursday by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

By the close of 2011, there were approximately 70 agencies that had at least 126 accounts which were delinquent in paying the employment taxes that are required under the United States Code. The delinquencies add up to approximately $14 million. The findings also showed that not only were many of the agencies delinquent that year, but several were delinquent for three years.

It may seem unfair that these agencies do not have to face the same penalties that you or I or our business would, but tax attorneys are there to help. They can step in and fight for an individual during an audit or after a delinquency has been determined. They can help prevent unnecessary penalties and help negotiate tax settlements when possible.

Source: The Washington Post, "Some federal agencies delinquent on payroll taxes," Eric Yoder, Sept. 28, 2012

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