Friday, October 30, 2009

City to Pay for Informing on Tax Cheats

People are already hard-wired for this type of job, it seems. Don't walk around naked in your own home, someone walking by might see you and call the cops. Big city police forces are calling for a new system of “citizen watch” programs, allegedly to help combat turrism. Now Chicago is calling on its citizens, already under siege amidst exploding gang violence, to rat their neighbors out for tax evasion. One has to wonder how a neighbor discovers a tax cheat. Does he rummage through their garbage? Break into their house? Hide a microphone in their office? As the emphasized text illustrates, the government is encouraging businesses to rat out their competitors. You stay classy, Chicago.

    MSNBC -

    You dirty rat.

    Chicago and Cook County residents aren’t the only ones about to get shocking tax news; the city is debuting a “tax whistle-blower” plan that could turn neighbor against neighbor in Chicago’s business community.

    The folks at city hall will pay cash bounties to informants who turn in business tax cheats around the city. The reward would amount to some sort of percentage of the tax money that the city recovers.

    "It's just another way of bringing people into compliance," Revenue Department spokesman Ed Walsh told the Sun-Times.

    "It would probably be ... a business knowing that a competitor is not remitting a tax. An employee [of the tax-dodging business] could know that, too. Typically, you need to provide some type of incentive."