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Of course we're Fair and Balanced!


What's up with the US's IRS Commish?

Bob Edwards interviewed IRS Commissioner Mark Everson on NPR's Morning Edition. I was struck by the Commissioner's statements at the end [starting at 4:21 into the story]:

Q. You filed?

A. I filed several weeks ago, yes.

Q. Did you owe?

A. No, actually I've got some money coming back and I've applied a few thousand dollars to this year's balances.

A few thousand dollars? In addition to his refund check? Does he makes much more than I think? Not in 2000, he didn't. According to How Much is Enough? Setting Pay for Presidential Appointees:

The commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service is responsible for administering an agency with 98,000 employees and an annual budget of $8.2 billion. The commissioner holds a Level III Executive Schedule position, which in 2000 entitled him to receive a salary of $130,200. This is roughly one-tenth the average net income of a partner in a large New York law firm and one-sixth of the salary and bonus received by the general counsel of a major U.S. corporation. When compared with a partner's income in a U.S. accounting firm, however, the commissioner's pay seems more competitive.

I wouldn't do it for $130,200. On the other hand, maybe all he did was a poor job of filling out his W-4. If so I can only accuse him of failing to look after his own best interests:

At the very least, Schmidt argues, Americans should receive interest on over-withheld taxes as a credit on W-2 forms. Schmidt calculates that deliberate over-withholding (whereby people get "refund" checks after filing their income tax statements every April), deprives the average worker of more than $100 in interest income annually.

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