Monday, March 15, 2010

IRS visits Sacramento Carwash in Pursuit of 4 Cents

Over the weekend my hometown of Sacramento, California showed up on all the tax news sites and blogs after the SacBee reported that IRS officers visited a local carwash because of a 4 cent tax liability. Although the original debt was only 4 cents, IRS fees and penalties raised the total to $202.35. However, the owner of the local carwash asserts he has never owed the IRS and is baffled by hour a 4 cent debt could result in over $200 worth of fees. Check out the following story on the incident via

Arriving at Harv's Metro Car Wash in midtown Wednesday afternoon were two dark-suited IRS agents demanding payment of delinquent taxes. "They were deadly serious, very aggressive and very condescending," says Harv's owner, Aaron Zeff.

The really odd part of this: The letter that was hand-delivered to Zeff's on-site manager showed the amount of money owed to the feds was ... 4 cents.

Inexplicably, penalties and taxes accruing on the debt – stemming from the 2006 tax year – were listed as $202.31, leaving Harv's with an obligation of $202.35.

Zeff, who also owns local parking lots and is the president of the Midtown Business Association, finds the situation a bit comical.

"It's hilarious," he says, "that two people hopped in a car and came down here for just 4 cents. I think (the IRS) may have a problem with priorities."

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