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Oglesby: Dont judge tax cases too quickly
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I can understand why various personal factors logically and for good reason lead people to oppose daylight saving time.

I'm an early riser with early bedtimes. I like dawn cracking as I emerge from bedroom and bath. I also like to hit the bed when it gets dark. No wasted daylight hours. I'm for DST.

Now some opponents are contending we don't really save net money with it because some increases caused by the change offset the documented savings. They may be right. I like it anyway.

Hall Countians who take The Times should by now have the information they need to make informed decisions about today's SPLOST vote. Talk radio has had a healthy debate with talkers both informed and not-so-well-informed.

It's too late for this column to change any minds or help reach a final decision unless you're voting later in the day after reading the paper. Regular readers know I'm for it as in the studied best overall interest of the county and why, but I'm not going to try to advance my viewpoint and detailed reasons at this point. I did that last time. I just want you to cast your informed vote
A potpourri of observations:

We may put too much stock in those seemingly unending reports of public officials at all levels of government failing to pay their taxes: property and state and federal income.

Some taxpayers who hover on the borderline of being able to use itemized deductions, or having to take the standard deduction, bunch deductible expenses in years they itemized and delay paying those expenses in the standard deduction year, resulting in being delinquent. Their savings can more than offset the delinquency penalty and interest.

Some actually may not receive a 1099 or other notice of income for any variety of reasons and it is not reported on the return. It could be a couple of years before the omission is detected.

Taxing authorities also make mistakes. The worst offender used to be the feds until the taxpayer bill of rights. The state is the worst today.

One of my clients who had a long impeccable credit rating and promptly paid all his bills had state tax liens filed against him for alleged unpaid taxes over several previous years. They applied his refund checks to the alleged bills. Despite our sending copies of payments, etc., he received notice the liens would be executed and property sold.

When we called to get names to use in filing suit rather than pay, a dedicated auditor found all our copies of proof in a drawer of an empty desk. His credit tarnished, he received a full refund and a letter of apology.

Another client mailed her federal return with a sizeable payment of balance by certified mail on April 15. She started getting notices imposing late filing penalties. Several times we sent photocopies of the certified mail receipt they signed and her check that had cleared the bank. A lien was filed and the January after filing we got notice to pay or go to court.

I called to advise we were going to court and needed names and badge numbers of involved agents. They don't like their names on cases where the government loses and has to pay taxpayers' costs. She asked if I would hold, coming back to say she'd found their mistake. The payment had been credited to another taxpayer's account and was being corrected.

Such isn't always taxpayers' fault. When it is, they absolutely should pay.

Ted Oglesby is retired opinion page editor. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503.

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