Part 3: Interal Revenue Service in the United States: Taxes and the Elderly

About the Internal Revenue Service and government run Social Security, taxes and the elderly and aged.

Let's Audit the IRS

Ideally a citizen should consider a government agency one of "us" or "our agency". Most Americans consider the IRS one of "them."

Campus Studies Institute put out a study in 1974 titled "The $44,000 Ripoff Method." It offered an interesting view of the aged and their Social Security "benefits":

"Take $468 a year from the average wage earner and make his employer match it, for a total of $936 taken from each worker. (If the employer did not pay the matching money, he could pay the worker instead.)

"At this rate, the average worker puts in a total of $34,532 over a period of 37 years. If the $936 per year were deposited in a savings account at 5% simple interest, it would grow to more than $66,000 by age 65.

"Now at the age of 65, the average married worker gets $223 per month and has about 101 months left to live. That means he gets back a little over $22,000 from his $66,000, or about 1/3 of what it cost him.

"But that's not all. For every $2 the over-65 worker earns, $1 is deducted from his Social Security benefits. On top of that, he must continue to pay Social Security and income taxes. This means up to 2/3 of his income may go to taxes."

The aged have long been a victim of the IRS. In the April 15, 1970, hearing conducted by the Senate Special Committee on Aging the subject of income tax overpayments by the elderly contained variously supported assertions by a variety of witnesses that as many as 50% of the aged taxpayers overpay on their taxes. Unfortunately the IRS system is geared toward what it considers the underpaying taxpayer rather than those who overpay.

In addition, the elderly have to contend with an increasingly complex tax form. As if this were not enough, they must do so with physical, mental, and academic limitations that may be substantial. Since decreasing vision, hearing, physical mobility, and the process of aging are not allowed for by the IRS, many of the aged will continue to overpay.

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