Revenooer Rants: Get ready to pay — more and more

Jeff Quinn

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Especially if you are in that “pay your fair share” category.

Recent info from the Tax Policy Center suggests that for 2013, families with incomes in the top 20 percent among us will pay an average of over 27 percent of their incomes in federal taxes. The top 1 percent of households (incomes averaging $1.4 million) will pay an average of over 35 percent! All of this while the average family in the bottom 20 percent of households won’t pay one red cent.

“My sense is that high income people feel abused by being targeted always for more taxes,” quoth Roberton Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center. “You can understand why they feel that way.”


And put this in the context of this recent moronic utterance from Obama, as reported by CNBC: “I am prepared to do hard things and to push my Democratic friends to do hard things. But what I can’t do is ask middle-class families, ask seniors, ask students to bear the entire burden (Yep, that’s what he said!) of deficit reduction when we know we’ve got a bunch of tax loopholes that are benefitting the well-off and the well-connected, aren’t contributing to growth, aren’t contributing to our economy. It’s not fair. It’s not right.”

We’re speechless.

And from our “Since When Is IRS Smarter Than the Courts” department, comes this little nugget regarding IRS deportment in the recent Zapara case.

The law says that the owner of any property seized by levy may request that IRS sell the property within 60 days after the request. IRS must comply with the request unless it determines, in its infinite wisdom, that compliance would not be in the best interests of the government, and notifies the owner of that determination timely. So along come the Zaparas, who owed Uncle Sam more than $450,000. IRS grabbed some stock the taxpayers owned, whereupon the taxpayers requested an immediate sale. IRS didn’t sell, and the asset declined in value. The Tax Court found IRS had violated the rules, and further, ordered the Revenooers to credit the Zaparas’ tax deficiency for the lost value of the stock — something in excess of $47,000. And the Ninth Circuit sustained the ruling of the Tax Court.

But in a recent pontification, IRS stated that it disagreed that the Tax Court has the authority to order a credit based on the IRS failure to comply with the 60 day sale requirement.


Rather, IRS thinks there is some other remedy available to the taxpayers, which they should pursue in the district court.

So, unless you live in the Ninth Circuit, you put up with the IRS making up its own rules.

What a country.

CONSULT YOUR TAX ADVISER – This article contains general information about various tax matters. You should consult your CPA regarding the implications to your own particular situation. Jeff Quinn, the author of this article, is a shareholder in Ashley Quinn, CPAs and Consultants, Ltd., with offices in Incline Village and Reno. He can be reached at 831-7288, welcomes comments at, and invites readers to consider his other commentary at

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