...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Friday, April 11, 2003
      ( 3:44 PM )
Rob the Poor to Pay the Rich?

It's tax time, and though the media isn't paying as much attention to that fact as it usually does since it's preoccupied with Iraq, I thought I'd mention what's probably a little known fact about the IRS. They audit 80% of people who claim the child income tax credit.

I know this because for the first time, we claimed the child income tax credit due to the fact that we were mostly unemployed last year and had to depend on the (wonderful) state healthcare plan provided by Oregon in order to even HAVE our baby, much less give him prenatal and pediatric care. So with my infrequent temp work and P's working two retail jobs with horrible hours and very little pay (despite the fact that he is highly-skilled in two professions, computer repair and cabinetmaking - there are no jobs here in Oregon), we made less than $13,000 last year. We survived only because we had help from my brother and we used up our entire savings, which included of money P inherited when his wonderful mum died a year and a half ago, and which we were hoping to save for the Kid's eduction, or at least for emergencies. So suffice it to say, we were looking forward to a little bit of money back this spring in the form of a tax refund. We also claimed the child tax credit because we qualified and because we needed it.

We filed early, and promptly received a notice from the IRS that because we'd claimed the child tax credit, we would be audited. We then found out that 80% of people who claim the child tax credit are audited. Damn if the IRS doesn't have anything better to do than audit poor people who just need a little help caring for their children. And heaven knows it's cheaper to run audits of poor people than to actually audit, say, cheating corporations who suck the life out of all their employees and then steal their retirement in the end anyway.

So there you go. Poor people's tax dollars paying for other poor people to be audited and corporations getting away tax free again. And I'm so sad for those rich people who are complaining that their tax cut was too small. Boo Hoo. Let me go cry a river for the poor, forgotten upper middle class and upper class while I go to the thrift shop to try and trade the Kid's too-small clothes for some used ones that will fit him.

Okay, Friday rant is done. But still, you see my point, right?

| -- permanent link