Rangel Rule: No Penalties or Interest on Late-Paid Taxes???

U.S. Congressman’s New Bill – No More IRS Interest and Penalties?

In an apparent effort to even-out the playing field for normal Americans who have had trouble in meeting their requisite tax obligations, Congressman John Carter, a Republican from Texas, (former Texas judge, no less) proposed the Rangel Rule, which, if invoked, would automatically eliminate IRS interest and penalties on unpaid taxes. The Rangel Rule Act of 2009, HR 735, would prevent IRS from charging penalties and interest – all one would have to do is write Rangel Rule at the top of their return. Simple as that. And the only criterion to be met is being a US citizen.


This appears to be Carter’s method of equalizing the double standard which now exists between Government officials who apparently are too important to concern themselves with something like tax obligations, and the Average American Joe. For some reason, Carter doesn’t think it’s very fair that people like House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) or the new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner should be excluded from their duty to pay taxes; the same taxes that the American unwashed masses struggle to pay, suffering wage garnishments, bank levies, and sometimes property seizure.


Congressman Carter stated,


“We must show the American people that Congress is following the same law, and the same legal process as we expect them to follow. That has not been done in the ongoing case against Chairman Rangel, nor in the instance of our new Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. If we don’t hold our highest elected officials to the same standards as regular working folks, we owe it to our constituents to change those standards so everyone is abiding by the same law. American’s believe in blind justice, which shows no favoritism to the wealthy or powerful.”


Well said, Carter!


However, it’s sad to say that the Government turning a blind eye to unfulfilled tax obligations is nothing new. When I was a manager in the IRS Collection Division fifteen years ago, I worked with a Revenue Officer Collection Manager (the person who would approve wage garnishments, bank levies, and property seizures), who did not pay his taxes. And not only was he still working as a Collection Manager, demanding the average person to do what he didn’t, but he also received a performance award that year. After all (as I was told by our Division Chief), not paying taxes is a conduct issue, not an issue of performance. Wow – that explanation truly cleared my confusion.


So, I congratulate Congressman Carter on his attempt to make the U.S. Government enforce its own rules against the Government Elite, and to eliminate part of the hierarchal paradox that has been just more of the same ‘ole.


Oh, and by the way, if passed, The Rangel Rule Act of 2009 would actually kill two birds with one rule passage – it would stimulate the economy. Taxpayers could go out and spend what they would normally have to give to their Uncle Sam. (Big screen T.V. manufacturers get ready – you’re about to be inventory challenged!).


But I say – Good Job Congressman Carter! At least someone has admitted to the great American double standard, and tried to do something about it. You Rock!


(Here is the link to HR 735. Don’t forget to pass this article on – I’m sure your Congressmen and Senators would love to hear your thoughts!)



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