Thursday, March 10, 2005

Idiotic Utterances from Tax Dodgers

I could have sworn I had déjà vu when I read paper this morning.

Almost like a Rite of Spring (if it ever gets here this year), more Massachusetts legislators have been recalcitrant in their obligations to file tax returns:

“It's all spend but no tax these days for six state lawmakers who revenue officials say failed to file income tax returns while voting to spend billions of dollars paid by others.”

[I know reporting is losing its luster, but I can’t help but point out the grammatical error in that sentence --- I hardly think the tax officials commented on the legislators voting to spend billions of dollars paid by others. But I digress.]

Let’s take a closer look at what these paragons of public service had to say about their oversights:

“The DOR list, obtained under a public records request by the Herald, also included freshman Rep. Patrick M. Natale (D-Woburn). But Natale said he wasn't working at the time and didn't have to file.”

He wasn’t working so he didn’t have to file? Okay, that could be true if he made less than $8,000 for the year, but for God’s sake, who was running against this unemployed loser? Don’t the people of Woburn have a better choice?

Rep. David Linsky from Natick:

“’I take full responsibility for this error. I am working with my accountant to rectify this mistake,'’ Linsky said. ‘I expect that I will receive a refund for over-paid taxes and the matter will be put to rest.’ The rep wouldn't say why he missed two consecutive deadlines.”

Well I should hope he would take responsibility for these errors! He hasn’t anyone else to blame. But two years running, and a lawyer? You know the old saying, “fool me once…”

Rep. Linsky is reported to be considering a run for District Attorney. I have some advice for him. Don’t.

Rep. Colleen Garry from Dracut:

“Garry said she didn't file because she cannot find paperwork involving the sale of a home the lawmaker jointly owned with her parents. She said she opted to delay rather than file an incorrect return.

The lawmaker said she's never owed the state money anyway.

‘I never had to pay taxes (when filing), I always had the most deductions taken,’ she said. ‘I don't mind loaning the Commonwealth money in tough times.’ Filing is mandatory for all taxpayers except those who earn less than $8,000, or work and live out of state.”

Do these idiots think before they open their mouths? There’s so many stupid statements there, parsing is necessary:

She cannot find the paperwork on the sale of a residence. Probably the dog ate it. Did she call the bank lawyer? The buyer?

She opted to delay instead of filing an incorrect return? Did she ever hear of an extension? Oh, that’s right, if you file an extension, you have to pay the tax due. But wait, she never owes any tax. But she sold a piece of real estate co-owned with her mother. But wait --- she didn’t file for two years! My my my, that’s one looooong closing.

She’s never owed the state money because she always has the most deductions taken? Boy she’s going to have to backpedal on that one.

And the piece de resistance:

In a paradigm of arrogance, she "doesn’t mind loaning the Commonwealth money in tough times."

I have a prediction: Ms. Garry is going to be facing tough times as a result of that statement. I will pass on to her a piece of advice I received long ago from my mother:

When you are caught with your hand in the cookie jar, never stick your tongue out at the baker.

Finally, Rep. Byron Rushing, from Boston:

“’It just doesn't make sense - I'm sure I did file,’ he said. Asked if there was a tax professional who could confirm that he filed, Rushing said, ‘That's the problem, I do my own taxes. I've got to stop that.’ “

Now remember, “this isn't the first time Rushing made the DOR non-filer list. He apologized in 1997 for failing to file returns for the six prior years.”

Truer words were never said. He’s got to stop that.

I look forward to following the further developments, especially as they relate to the generous Ms. Garry.

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