Tuesday, January 05, 2016
Some organizations work best when they inculcate fear in individuals. This is one. Public relations works for the IRS when citizens are afraid they will be caught and forced to pay penalties. Appeals to one's moral duty rarely work because no one likes to pay taxes. It is a distasteful civic duty. So, the taxman does what he has practiced for millenia. He instills a sense of dread to get people to pay up. In countries like Italy and Greece where tax collection is handled badly, there is general evasion and loss to the governments' exchequers. The threat of an audit in the US is enough to gain compliance from all but the wealthy who have options with the help of accountants and lawyers. It is difficult for the IRS to be liked nor should it work too hard at changing public perception from negative to positive. It has a tough job that must be done if government is to provide services to citizenry.