Sunday 2011-07-10

Confessions of a Tax Collector by Richard Yancey

Stories from working at the IRS in the 90's prior to the Revenue Restructuring Act of 1998, which sought to reign rein in the perceived abuses of power catalogued by this historical fiction written by a Chuck Palahniuk replacement who spent college absorbing stories from a never-drunk-enough Norman Rockwell out of Florida.

This is great fun if you lived in Central Florida during the 90's. Possibly less so, otherwise.

On the white wall directly opposite me were two large framed photographs, one of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and another of the space shuttle Challenger. The bridge had collapsed into Tampa Bay in 1980, killing thirty-five people. Challenger had exploded in 1986, seconds after the photograph was taken.
-- Chapter 1
I would learn that most revenue officers are determined, if not obsessive, documenters. Conversely, they are also prolific shredders.
-- Chapter 1
Find where they are. Track what they do. Learn what they have. Execute what they fear.
-- "The Four Protocols", Chapter 4
You can see it in their eyes ... how they want to believe the dream. The dream, Yancey! And you can show them, in black and white, from their own records, how they haven't made a dime since they've been in business, how they've lost every penny they've sunk into it. How every drop of blood and sweat and tears they've poured into this black hole they call a business has been a colossal waste of time and it doesn't matter.

They are entrepreneurs; they're living the American dream: they are the boss; they are the man. And it doesn't matter one damn bit they're mortgaged to the hilt, their kids are wearing hand-me-downs, they're driving ten-year-old cars with the rear bumpers dragging the ground... Doesn't matter a damn bit the judgments filed against them, the liens, the collectors calling day and night. It doesn't even matter that you can prove to them they could make a better living flipping burgers at McDonald's for minimum wage. None of that matters. Only the dream matters.

-- Chapter 8
For every dollar we collect from enforcement we write off three...
In the old days, when a revenue officer was assigned a new zip code, he would hit three or four businesses immediately seizing them, creating the biggest stir he could in the community. After a couple months TDA issuance in those zips would plummet.
-- Chapter 8 (Taxpayer Delinquent Account)