Sunny Afternoons and Snitches

It’s that time of year when many firms will soon start Saturday hours as they dive into Busy Season. Thinking of tax returns, the old song Sunny Afternoon by The Kinks comes to mind.

"The tax man’s taken all my dough and left me in my stately home," sang Ray Davies. Hearing the song again over the weekend sparked a memory of seeing a news report on CNN a few years ago. The report was about disgruntled former employees of businesses large and small who were regular sources of IRS tips.

"And I can’t sail my yacht, he’s taken everything I’ve got," sang the leader of The Kinks. Payback is not the only reason agitated former employees squeal to the IRS; the agency is authorized by law to pay rewards to informants. In cases that involve huge amounts of money, the informant’s cut can be as high as 30 percent of what is collected. That’s enough to buy that yacht.

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