Monday, September 12, 2011
Fast forward to August. Numerous reports, including this one, bring news of wildfires throughout Texas that have destroyed more than 1,000 homes, including one 48-hour period in which 852 residences were devastated. One need only look at map of Texas wildfires to see the incredible scope of the problem.
Here’s the challenge. It costs money to fight wildfires. Yet the governor of Texas and his political allies, as a price for keeping taxes artificially low, decided to cut firefighting assistance funds by more than 70 percent. Surely, considering that firefighters already were laboring under financial shortfalls, this was not a matter of the typical “we need to cut wasteful spending” excuse for trying to shrink government. Here’s some wisdom for the anti-tax crowd: shrunken and destroyed governments cannot protect citizens from rampaging wildfires.
So what does the governor of Texas and his political allies propose to do? They want money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Apparently it doesn’t matter that the governor of Texas has been very critical of FEMA. Now, according to this report, he claims that this is “not the time to worry about reforming the agency.” Apparently it doesn’t matter that FEMA is running out of money. According to many reports, including this one, FEMA is almost out of money, but House Republicans want any FEMA funding increase to be offset by spending in other areas. Perhaps we should cut salaries and benefits for Congress and its staff.
The governor of Texas is not the only advocate of lower taxes and small government to turn to the federal government to ask for funding. The governor of New Jersey sent a letter to the President asking for federal assistance. The governor of Pennsylvania, another anti-tax zealot, also asked for federal assistance. Neither specified whether that assistance should be funded with tax increases or cuts in spending, and though one should expect that they would prefer the latter, as do their ideological counterparts in Congress, neither one dared to suggest who should bear the burden of those spending cuts in order to assist their states.
As I pointed out recently in Storms, Public Infrastructure, and Taxes, the solution offered by the anti-tax zealots is to cut spending, which means reduced funding for fire departments, police protection, public sewage treatment plants, and other essential services. The anti-tax folks in Texas have provided a wonderful example of what happens when fire fighting funding is cut.
The mind-set of rejecting government, and opposing taxation in order to shrink, and as some anti-tax advocates explain, to eliminate, government, and yet begging for money from government when things get rough, makes me think of another mind-set. This behavior immediately reminds me of the teenager who wants nothing to do with his or her parents until the youngster realizes that the parents are needed for help. Anti-authoritarian suddenly become appreciative of the social benefits of a government using its authority protecting its citizenry when they or those on whom they rely for votes are in need of help. The anti-tax campaign is not so much a simple opposition to taxes as a philosophical ideal, but a desire to eliminate funding for regulation and supervision of business and other activity. That regulation, designed to protect workers and the environment, to give but two examples, prevents people from simply doing whatever they want to do, perhaps in pursuit of money and perhaps in pursuit of fun, without regard to the cost that they impose on other people when they shift the cost of their activity onto others.
The anti-tax crowd is more than anti-tax. That is another reason why I explained, in Storms, Public Infrastructure, and Taxes, that “I shudder in horror at the total inanity and stupidity of the anti-tax pledge.” From the perspective of the well-being of democratic, pluralized, just, and economically balanced society and the governments necessary to protect that lifestyle, destroying the life-blood of freedom by using a self-centered definition of freedom is stupid. Perhaps one of the most outspoken Republican candidates for the presidency is correct. Perhaps, as she claims, all of these natural disasters are a divine message, but not the message she thinks it is. Perhaps they are intended to educate people. Perhaps when the dangers of destroying government is highlighted by actual catastrophe rather than hypothetical scenarios posed by pundits will people wake up to the siren song of the self-centered. Perhaps one lesson is that not only can taxes be too high, they can be too low. A slew of natural disasters is bringing that point home, whether or not someone attaches a theological interpretation to these catastrophes. Taxes that are too low can be as destructive as natural disasters.
Friday, September 09, 2011
A little more research discloses two interesting tidbits. According to William J. Coffey, Strengthening Treasury Direct:
Treasury Direct issues selected 1099 forms. Interest Form 1099-INT reports discounts on Treasury bills and interest payments on notes and bonds. Proceeds from redemptions of notes and bonds are reported on Form 1099B. The Internal Revenue Service requires Form 1099-OID for reporting an original issue discount on notes and bonds. However, Treasury Direct only issues this form for inflation-indexed notes.First, the Treasury Department, of which the IRS is a part, does issue Forms 1099, but the issuance comes from a part of the Treasury Department that is not the IRS. Second, this form is issued with respect to some, but not all, discounts on, and redemptions of, Treasury obligations, and thus there is inconsistency in this regard.
Anyone who can enlighten me is invited to do so. What are the requirements? Are they being followed? And if the inconsistency is consistent with the requirements, why are the requirements inconsistent?
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
In Megibow v. Comr., T.C. Memo 2011-211, the Tax Court rejected a taxpayer’s argument that he was not required to include in gross income the interest that the IRS had paid him on overpayments he had made. The conclusion is inescapable. Interest is included in gross income, unless it is tax-exempt, which the IRS payments were not. One of the arguments raised by the taxpayer was that he was not required to include the interest in gross income because the IRS had not issued to him a Form 1099 reporting the interest. The Tax Court pointed out that failure to receive an information return, such as a Form 1099, does not transform gross income into excluded income, citing Vaughn v. Comr., T.C. Memo 1992-317, aff’d without pub. Op., 15 F.3d 1095 (9th Cir. 1993). Apparently the IRS did not contend that it had issued a Form 1099, and that is what made me wonder if the IRS issues those forms.
Unless I am missing something, the IRS is not required to issue a Form 1099. Technically, the Form 1099 is an information return, conveying to the IRS tax-related information about a transaction in which other parties have engaged. The taxpayer receives a copy, but technically the taxpayer, by having engaged in the transaction, already knows the information. The taxpayer’s copy is, in this respect, a convenience. The IRS does not report to itself information concerning a transaction in which it has engaged.
The follow-up question is whether the IRS should issue Forms 1099, not only as a convenience to taxpayers, but also as a reminder to taxpayers that they have gross income in the specified amount. Compliance with respect to interest income reporting would increase. The IRS would spare itself the aggravation and cost of going through what it had to go through in this case. Because many taxpayers react to a Form 1099 with the thought, “I must report this because the IRS knows about it, and if I don’t report it, the IRS spotlight will shine on me,” the benefits of requiring the IRS to issue Forms 1099 – or of the IRS voluntarily choosing to do so – outweigh the costs.
One wonders how many other taxpayers failed to report interest paid by the IRS, how many were tagged by the IRS, and how much it cost to bring them into compliance. Surely those who are escaping taxation by failing to report the interest would not be happy with my suggestion, but anything that increases tax compliance is a step in the right direction. The tax and deficit burdens on those who comply are increased by those who do not comply. Having the IRS issue Forms 1099 would ease that inappropriate shifting of burden.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Jon Huntsman has entered the tax conversation. His plan, outlined here, is quite familiar. His plan “eliminates all deductions and credits in favor of three drastically lower rates of 8%, 14% and 23%.” Surely that cannot be so. Does he plan to eliminate the credit for taxes withheld from a person’s paycheck? Or the credit for making estimated tax payments? Does he plan to eliminate business deductions and impose an income tax on gross profit? Is the standard deduction headed for the dustbin of tax history? Will the deduction for personal and dependency exemptions also get trashed? The problem with this “soundbite” planning is that it would leave a person earning $20,000 with a federal income tax bill of $1,600, a social security tax bill of $1,530, and state and local income, sales, and other taxes of who knows how much. Under current tax law, a person scraping by on that sort of salary – a consequence of all the wonderful jobs created by the Bush tax cuts – would need to cut at least $1,600 from their other spending. Perhaps more, if this person qualified for the earned income tax credit. So, let’s see, the poor person’s taxes go up and the wealthy person’s taxes go down, down even more, as a reward for the superb performance of the economy triggered by the last round of tax cuts for the wealthy.
The Huntsman plan not only nails the poor, and to a lesser extent, the middle class, through its elimination of all deductions and credits, it also crushes those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder by eliminating all taxes on capital gains and dividends. This tax break goes to those who can afford to have capital gains and dividends. Again, it’s not the poor, and it’s not most of the middle class who will throw we-have-even-lower-taxes parties. Note that interest would remain taxable, as that is the type of investment income most predominant among the poor and middle class. Under Huntsman, the federal income tax burden would fall on wage earners. Happy Labor Day.
Huntsman’s rationale for not taxing capital gains and dividends is seriously flawed. According to Huntsman (or, more likely, the people who created “his” plan and financing its hype), “Because dollars invested had to first be earned, they have already been subject to the income tax. Taxing these same dollars again when capital gains are realized serves to deter productive and much-needed investment in our economy.” Testing this assertion with an example demonstrates why Huntsman or those hyping this plan don’t understand federal income taxes. Taxpayer T invest $1,000,000 in Z Corporation stock. Things go well, and eventually T sells the stock for $3,000,000. Current law taxes T on $2,000,000, not $3,000,00, and it already taxes T at a rate lower than the rate imposed on hard-working wage earners doing more than sitting back and watching stock price reports. Huntsman’s argument for not taxing capital gains makes sense in terms of not taxing the $1,000,000 that T “gets back” when T sells the stock, but current law doesn’t tax that $1,000,000. It’s called basis. On the other hand, the $2,000,000 of capital gain has not been taxed and thus taxing it at this point is not taxing “dollars [that] have already been subject to the income tax.” This is far from the most difficult and complicated aspects of federal income taxation. Just about every student in basic federal income tax courses learns this and understands this. Huntsman and his team – who perhaps never saw an income tax course – are the sort of people who require the use of “just about” as a limiting modifier on the word “every.” What is more likely is that Huntsman and his backers know quite well the truth, that the $2,000,000 has not previously been taxed, but are trying to dupe the American public into thinking that cutting taxes on capital gains is good for America. It’s good, but not for America. It’s good for the wealthy who are bankrolling Huntsman and the other politicians who parade out the same tax misinformation. If all Americans were required to learn tax in high school, as I have often proposed, it would be much more difficult for those selling this tax deception to find people willing to jump on the lie train. Is it any wonder that the same “tax only wages” crowd seeks to cut funding for education? An educated electorate is the enemy of the manipulators. And the manipulators know that.
If this nonsense about taxes is any indicator, we’re in for a long, lie-filled election season. At least it will give me plenty of topics for this blog.
Friday, September 02, 2011
In Schramm v. Comr., T.C. Memo 2011-212 (30 August 2011), the Tax Court held that the taxpayer was an employee and not an independent contractor. The court analyzed eight factors in reaching its conclusion. The facts supporting employee classification overwhelmed those supporting independent contractor classification.
Degree of Control: Supporting employee classification: university specified textbook taxpayer was required to use, university determined the topics to be covered, university set the length of the course, university managed enrollment of students, university provided web site used for online portion of courses, university imposed employment policies, such as sexual harassment, drug use, and conflicts of interest, on taxpayer, university treated taxpayer as employee. Supporting independent contractor classification: taxpayer followed independent approach in teaching classes.
Investment in Facilities: Supporting employee classification: university financed staff for recruiting, registering, and keeping records with respect to students. Supporting independent contractor classification: taxpayer maintained home office for teaching purposes, purchased office supplies, paid for an internet connection and computer.
Opportunity for Profit or Loss: Supporting employee classification: taxpayer’s pay based on number of classes taught, with no opportunity to change it. Supporting independent contractor classification: none.
Right to Discharge: Supporting employee classification: despite lack of evidence, it appeared university could terminate taxpayer’s services at any time, university could decline to pay taxpayer to teach additional courses. Supporting independent contractor classification: none.
Work is Part of Principal’s Regular Business: Supporting employee classification: university’s regular business is education of students and evaluation of their work, for which taxpayer was hired to do. Supporting independent contractor classification: none.
Permanency of Relationship: Supporting employee classification: taxpayer had long-term, consistent contractual relationship with university. Supporting independent contractor classification: none.
Relationship the Parties Thought They Created: Supporting employee classification: university and taxpayer acted as though relationship was employment, university withheld taxes, issued a Form W-2 to taxpayer, and did not check the statutory employee box on that form, university informed taxpayer it had classified taxpayer as employee. Supporting independent contractor classification: none.
Provision of Employee Benefits: Supporting employee classification: none. Supporting independent contractor classification: despite lack of evidence, university did not offer taxpayer or other adjunct faculty the types of benefits offered to other categories of workers.
The taxpayer’s situation in Schramm is very similar to that of adjunct faculty generally. It certainly is very similar to the manner in which my Law School treats adjuncts. The major difference is that adjuncts are permitted to select textbooks rather than being told what textbook to use, though they do receive advice and recommendations on that point. It is possible that some of our adjunct faculty do not maintain home offices for their teaching activities, but I’ve never asked and I don’t think anyone has ever asked. Newly-hired adjunct faculty, of course, lack the permanency of relationship that existed in Schramm, though that factor alone will not change the outcome. Next time I speak with one of our adjuncts, I need to remember to ask if they receive a Form W-2 or a Form 1099. Strange that I’ve never had this conversation, but I’ve never been involved in the payroll side of things. Perhaps I’ll also ask if they have any deductible expenses related to their teaching, because the school does make available to adjuncts computers and similar equipment. My guess is that, like me, they do have computers used for teaching and other business purposes, and pay for an internet connection through which they connect to the on-line classrooms and exchange emails with students, other faculty, and law school administration.
I know I will get a response even before I see any of our adjuncts. Why? Because some of them read MauledAgain.
Addendum: As expected, I've heard from our adjuncts. They are treated as employees and receive Forms W-2. It has been this way for about five years. Previously, they had been the recipients of Forms 1099.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Repairing the damage that the hurricane caused to public infrastructure requires money. To the best of my knowledge, few, if any, of these structures and facilities are insured. Self-insurance might exist in the form of contingency funds, but several years of recession have caused many, if not most, governments and public agencies to dip into those funds. Money can be taken from other portions of the locality’s budget, but what’s left to afflict with a shortage? Should the fire department be eliminated? Should half of the police force be pink-slipped? Should public sewage treatment plants be closed?
Sometimes, no matter what people want, we, and those representing us in government, must do what we prefer not to do. That’s life. That’s also why I shudder in horror at the total inanity and stupidity of the anti-tax pledge. Technically, there are four pledges, one for House members, one for Senators, one for governors, and one for state legislators. All share, however, a promise to oppose and vote against “any and all efforts” to increase taxes. With respect to the type of situation now facing more than a dozen states, the anti-tax pledge advocate explains:
Can the language of the Pledge be altered to allow exceptions?So in the anti-tax world, the county that wants to replace the washed out bridge or the city that wants to restore train service needs to eliminate police departments, lay off fire fighters, close down the sewage treatment plant, or reduce already bare-bone services to the citizenry. I can’t imagine what these ideologues would have argued on December 8, 1941.
No. There are no exceptions to the Pledge. Tax-and-spend politicians often use “emergencies” to justify increasing taxes. In the unfortunate event of a real crisis or natural disaster, the legislator should propose spending cuts in other areas to finance the emergency response.
Monday, August 29, 2011
One of the questions that popped into my head was a consequence of my curiosity. “What’s in the trucks?” Occasionally, the answer was apparent. Those hauling new cars or cattle pretty much reveal their cargoes. Most of the trucks, however, consist of a tractor and a box trailer or container on a flatbed. “What’s in there?” Food? Is more food being shipped by truck than in the past? Despite recessions, people eat, so I’ve figured that the trucks carrying necessities, such as food, don’t change in number very much. So what’s in these trucks? Not too long into the trip, when I caught sight of this news, a possible answer appeared. Were these trucks filled with $9,010 Chanel sequined tweed coats? Were they carrying $775 Christian Louboutin “Bianca” platform pumps? Even if I had the audacity to find a way to look into the truck trailers (not that I would and not that I’d see much but cartons and crates), I wouldn’t have recognized these things. I’m just copying what I read, because I have no clue as to what these items are and why they are so expensive other than the ever-present desire of the elite to possess something most others cannot afford and to have a name or tag attached so that they are certain the world recognizes them as special and elite. And wealthy.
One of the feelings I encountered during this trip was the rattling, shaking, and banging that is experienced when driving off-road. Yet I did not drive off-road. About the time that I embarked, I had noticed a puzzling statement by Peter King in his MMQB column. He wrote, “Then Lou [the driver of the bus] climbed into the driver's seat and we started buzzing up I-85 toward Redskins camp in Northern Virginia, 490 miles of bumpy bliss while writing this column. Let's just say I would have written longer overnight if the interstate highway system in this country weren't as much of a roller coaster.” Haven’t ventured on interstates during the past two years other than those within a few miles of home, I wondered what he meant. I found out, when I reached I-70 in Illinois. I thought I had crossed the border into a still-developing country. I was reminded of stories from people I know who have driven in some of the countries formerly behind the Iron Curtain. My thought that perhaps it was “last on the list” to be repaired was quickly dispelled as I encountered more and more interstate miles marked with PERMANENT “rough road” signs. On the return leg of the journey, I traversed the Indiana Toll Road, hailed by advocates of privatization of public assets as proof of the superiority of their “shrink government” mentality. Guess what? Parts of that road rivaled the atrocious condition of I-70 in Illinois. There’s no guessing in determining why these roads are a mess. The anti-tax movement is succeeding in wrecking the nation’s infrastructure, banking on an exasperated public giving in to the “private milking of public assets” game that, in the long run, as seen in Indiana, leaves the country no better off and a few special elites wealthier. Perhaps they’re trying to save up to buy a few more dozen pairs of shoes.
My conclusion is that there are two Americas. One, inhabited by the wealthy, is nowhere near a recession, doesn’t worry about highways because helicopters and private jets don’t use them, and detests paying taxes. The other, inhabited by everyone else, is in the economic doldrums, if not ready to fall into another recession or depression, endures deteriorating infrastructure and reduced services, suffers from unemployment or employment at wages falling in real dollar terms, and yet despite holding an overwhelming number of votes, manages to perpetuate the system that keeps them down. Perhaps after paying for more shock absorber and tire replacements, front end alignments, and suspension adjustments, they will decide that it’s cheaper, in the long run, to pay increased tolls.
Friday, August 26, 2011
A story broke last week, reported by the Associated Press and other sources, that the Republican members of Congress are opposed to extending the social security tax cut that was put into effect for this year. This tax cut applies to a tax imposed on the first $106,800 of wages, and reduced the 6.2% employee portion of the tax to 4.2%. The purpose of the reduction was to put more cash in the hands of ordinary consumers, whose increased purchasing stimulates the economy and creates jobs.
Failing to extend the cut, in other words, permitting the tax rate to return to 6.2%, is viewed by many as a tax increase. As I explained about a month ago in Tax Semantics, allowing a temporary tax cut to remain temporary is not a tax increase, though arguing that point is a distraction from the real issue. But for purposes of this discussion, calling it a tax increase drives home the larger point.
A rational person who pays attention to national politics would not be amiss in concluding that the anti-tax crowd, and that includes almost every Republican member of Congress, would be horrified at the idea of letting the temporary social security tax cut expire. After all, they are livid at the idea of letting the Bush tax cuts benefitting the wealthy terminate. Yet these anti-tax crusaders do not hesitate in their willingness to let the social security tax cut expire. Representative Jeb Hensarling claims that although lower taxes are better than higher taxes, “not all tax relief is created equal.” In other words, for these anti-tax Republicans, tax relief for the wealthy apparently is much more important than tax relief for low and middle income wage earners. Representative David Camp, who chairs the Ways and Means Committee, explained that tax reductions, “no matter how well-intended,” will increase the deficit and make the task of reducing the deficit “that much harder.” Camp gets points for that obvious bit of wisdom. If tax reductions, however, are a problem, then are not the Bush tax cuts even more of a problem, considering that they dwarf the social security tax cut? Where was Camp when those cuts were scheduled to expire and his colleagues went all out, in the face of spiraling deficits, to extend those tax cuts? Do we sense a double standard?
According to anti-tax Republicans, there is consistency in opposing a tax cut extension for ordinary Americans while heaping tax reductions onto the mega-rich. It is better, they say, to reduce corporate taxes and the tax burdens of the wealthy than it is to extend the social security tax cut. A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor claims that Cantor “has never believed that this type of temporary tax relief is the best way to grow the economy.” If he means that temporary tax cuts are not the answer to economic growth, then why the support for the extension of the temporary Bush tax cuts? If he means that temporary tax cuts for low and middle income individuals is not the answer, but that tax reductions for corporations and upper income individuals is the solution to the nation’s economic problems, can he please explain why the Bush tax cuts, rather than helping the economy, contributed to its downturn?
The answer might not be an extension of the social security tax cut. After all, the social security trust fund needs to be maintained and expanded to cover the benefits that are due to retirees in future years. The answer is to let the Bush tax cuts expire, and, ideally, to recoup the tax breaks from those who took them under the pretext of creating jobs that they had no need to create and no intention of creating.
So is there a double standard? Indeed there is. Perhaps a better word is hypocrisy. It’s interesting to watch the anti-tax group get painted into a corner as they are compelled to confess that they are not anti-tax across the board, but opposed to taxation of corporations and wealthy individuals. That does make sense from one perspective. Consider who contributes to the cost of acquiring elective office.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Today I close the series with a Supreme Court tax case involving a Thomas Maule descendant.
Sarah Prudence (Sally) Ordway (1910-1997), 7-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 8th cousin: Sarah’s interest in a trust set up by her father, John Gilman Ordway (6-great-grandson of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass.) was the subject of a gift tax disclaimer case, U.S. v. Irvine, 511 U.S. 224 (1994).
Monday, August 22, 2011
Today I continue with two members of the single tax movement.
Louis Blaul (1854-1909), married to Mary Conard Clendenon, 3-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 3rd cousin four times removed: According to the Single Tax Review (1910), on googlebooks, “The death of Louis Blaul of West Philadelphia, robs that city of an earnest and devoted Single Taxer.” His funeral, we are told, was conducted “as he had desired, not according to the rites of any church, but by officiating Single Taxers.” One of many explanations of the single tax, and its chief advocate Henry George, can be found in this article.
Earl Harrington Foote (1882 - ?), 6-great-grandson of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 7th cousin once removed: In 1920, Earl was a candidate for governor of Ohio on the single tax party ticket. According to Our Campaigns, he received 1407 votes, 0.07% of the total. In the 1930 census of Ohio, his occupation is listed as real estate agent. Earl was a 4th cousin three times removed of Louis Blaul’s wife Mary Conard Clendenon, but it is not known if Louis and Earl knew each other or knew of each other, though both were adherents of the single tax.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Today I continue with a tax return preparer.
Evelyn Newton (1919-2002), 7-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 8th cousin: Among the many careers juggled by Evelyn was tax return preparer employed by H&R Block. Her interests and skills reached beyond taxation, as she was employed by Utah Power and Light, and the Bureau of Reclamation. She also was an Herbal Life and Vanda Make-up distributor for more than a quarter of a century. (Primary source: her obituary in the 5 July 2002 Salt Lake City Deseret News)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Today I continue with tax accountants.
Willard Clinton Warren (1922-2009), 5-great-grandson of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 3rd cousin twice removed: Willard ended his long career as senior tax principal of KPMG Peat Marwick’s Boston office. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to Bowdoin College to complete his degree, and then joined the family business, Warren Publications. After a few years as manager of Pro-Con, he joined Mount and Carter, a Boston accounting firm, which through a series of mergers, became part of KPMG Peat Marwick. (Primary sources: his obituary in the 16 April 2009 Portland (Maine) Press Herald, in the Bowdoin College Magazine, and in the Conway Daily Sun.
Charles Banks King (1927-2008), 6-great-grandson of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 5th cousin once removed: Charles as a CPA, educated at Principia College and the University of Miami Graduate School of Business Administration. He was director of the Estate Planning Council of Greater Miami, was a member of committees of the Florida Institute of CPAs, and served in leadership capacities at many other civic and professional organizations. He was a director and treasurer of the Miami Beach Taxpayers Association. (Primary source: his obituary in the 21 Dec 2008 Miami Herald)
Monday, August 15, 2011
Today I continue with members of local tax boards.
Frederick William Savory (1927-2004), 7-great-grandson of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 8th cousin: Frederick was a dairy farmer and crop supply company owner who served for many years on the Town of Greene (N.Y.) Tax Grievance Board. (Primary source: his obituary in the 11 August 2004 Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin)
Richard Edgar Hewitt (1920 - ?), 5-great-grandson of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 5th cousin twice removed: According to a 1982 clipping in an Evansville newspaper archive, Richard, who was president of the Hoover Abstract Corp., served on the Vanderburgh County Tax Adjustment Board as well as on several other civic and governmental boards and commissions.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Today I continue with two local tax officials.
George Perry Worrell (1863-1942), married to Mary Louisa Ogden, 4-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 4th cousin 3 times removed (in addition to being a cousin through my Ogden ancestry): In the 1930 census of Pennsylvania, George’s occupation is listed as tax collector. On the three previous census enumerations, he had been listed as a salesman for a grocery store, but it’s not known if the tax collector position followed a career path change or a second job. I haven’t been able to learn anything more about his public service as a tax collector.
Joseph M. J. Flaig (1882-1933), married to May P. Neave, 4-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 4th cousin 3 times removed: In the 1930 census of Missouri, Joseph’s occupation is listed as tax assessor for the city of St. Louis. According to his death certificate, at the time of his death he was deputy assessor for the city of St. Louis. I know nothing else about him.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Today I continue with two IRS employees.
Juanita Maude Tucker (1922-2006), 4-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my 3rd cousin three times removed: According to her obituary, Juanita “retired in 1988 after an exemplary 20-year career with the IRS.” Before working for the IRS, she was a co-owner and operator of the Powder Puff Beauty Shoppe in Bloomington, Texas, a business she started after raising her children. I do not know in what capacity she worked at the IRS. (Primary source: her obituary.
Rose Marie Randolph Agnes Maule (living), 6-great-granddaughter of Thomas Maule of Salem, Mass., and my aunt: After raising her and uncle Joe’s children, aunt Rose worked for many years as an IRS tax examiner in Philadelphia before retiring some years ago. I’ve never tried to pry into the details of what she did, respecting the confidentiality restrictions to which she was subject. My career with the Chief Counsel to the IRS began before I had learned that Aunt Rose was a tax examiner, though shortly after she had taken the position.