TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross

Planet No-Tax

You've heard that the IRS is in even more trouble now for spending about $49 million on at least 220 employee conferences over three years.

Conferences like the 2010 conference in Anaheim that included this Star Trek parody, featuring actual IRS employees on a mission to the Planet No-Tax.

But what I'll bet you haven't heard is what this video is about. Or why it includes these lines: "I just received an emergency medical distress call from the planet. Chris, they're dying down there. Some newfangled disease. They call it: the tax gap flu."

The tax gap flu.

The tax gap is the gap between the total amount of money taxpayers owe, and how much is collected. Any guess how much that works out to be? For 2012 the tax gap was $400 billion. That amounts to 58 percent of the entire U.S. defense budget.

That's what the IRS conference was about.

Now spending $49 million on three years on tax enforcement training conferences is a lot of money. But compared to the $400 billion in unpaid taxes just last year alone -- that's a little more than one one-hundredth of one percent of the money these employees are trying to recover.

Although the IRS video does propose a cheaper alternative: "Pick up some tax gap vaccine at a local pharmacy."

Assuming it's the generic version, of course.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
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