One more way to waste taxpayer money

The Internal Revenue Service has just announced that they will waste $42 million to send notices to people about the tax rebate checks which will be mailed in May. What will the notices say? That checks are going to be mailed in May. So it's going to cost 32 cents per letter to print, process and mail. And then there will be a separate mailing with a separate price tag that will go to people who didn't file tax returns for 2007, but who might otherwise qualify for a rebate check.

Yikes. I'm sorry, but if people don't know by now that the federal government is going to be issuing these checks as a part of the economic stimulus plan, they deserve to be left in the dark. You can't watch a news program, log onto the internet, or read a newspaper without hearing some reference to the rebate checks. Anyone who is unaware of the checks clearly hasn't been in regular communication with the rest of the society.


Democrats are saying the letters are a publicity stunt by the administration. The administration says that the letters are intended to explain how the rebate checks will work. They say that they don't want taxpayers to be confused, so the letters will explain when the checks are going out and that taxpayers must file a 2007 tax return in order to receive one (if they're eligible).

I say it's a complete waste of money. What are news outlets for? It doesn't sound like these letters are giving any detailed information anyway, so they have little real value to most taxpayers.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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