Hey the good news is the IRS is going after those freeloaders and actively collecting from those who have unpaid back taxes. The bad news is they're outsourcing the debt collection - and it's costing them about $3 for every $1 it brings in! National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, head of the Taxpayer Advocate Service, said in her annual report to Congress this week that the private debt collection cost the IRS $20 million in the last fiscal year and only collected $6.7 million in back taxes. The $20 million includes administrative costs as well as commissions. The private contractors, whose introduction was supported by both Democrats and Republicans, also managed to collect a 25% commission on some collections that the IRS made without them. It gets worse. The four debt-collection companies taking part in a program started last year collected less than 1% of the $920 million of the tax debt assigned to them. And they tend to go after easy targets - those who can least afford to pay. Some 19% of those who paid up under the program had incomes below the federal poverty level and would have been given hardship status if the IRS had handled their cases. Olson has previously warned that the IRS is underfunded. The agency estimates it will need another $495 million to deal with President Trump's tax overhaul. (New York Times)
You Tube Punishes Logan Paul
It took them long enough, but after a more than a week, YouTube has revealed the punishment star vlogger Logan Paul who grabbed international headlines by posting a video of a suicide victim in Japan. Paul, who laughed and joked about the dead man during the widely condemned video, will have his channels removed from the Google Preferred platform, an ad program for the top 5% of content creators. The company also says Paul's original projects with the YouTube Red subscription service, including movie sequel The Thinning: New World Order, are now on hold and he will no longer appear in YouTube Red comedy Foursome. Paul, who filmed the video with friends in a forest near Mount Fuji known as a suicide hot spot, deleted the video and apologized Jan. 2. But he can still make money from his YouTube channel, which has almost 16 million subscribers, though the company says he now has one strike. YouTube terminates accounts that get three strikes in a three-month period. (Washington Post)
Pilots Fired For Fighting... During the Flight!
An Indian airline says it has fired two pilots who reportedly fought in the cockpit, with the man allegedly slapping the woman during the New Year's Day flight from London to Mumbai. Jet Airways said in a statement that it "has terminated services of both the cockpit crew with immediate effect," but released no further details. Indian media report the male pilot slapped his female co-pilot during an argument in the cockpit of the Boeing 777, and that she emerged crying and for a time refused to return to the cockpit. Sources tell the Times of India that the cockpit was briefly left unattended when the male pilot left to try to persuade the female pilot to return. Fortunately, the flight, which was carrying 324 passengers and 14 crew members, landed safely. (Times of India)
Weiner and Wife to Settle Out of Court
Sorry gossip hounds, there won't be any juicy stories coming out of the Huma Abedin-Anthony Weiner divorce proceedings. The former couple has agreed to finalize the divorce out of court. A statement from Abedin's lawyer read: "In order to reduce any impact of these proceedings on their child, the parties have decided to reach a settlement swiftly and privately." The former aide to Hillary Clinton was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday; instead the judge announced the divorce case had been "discontinued." Abedin filed for divorce in May after Weiner pleaded guilty to sexting with a minor. She listed the case as "contested," indicating a dispute between her and her husband. Abedin and Weiner will likely now work out custody and asset issues out of court before filing for an uncontested divorce. Weiner is currently serving a 21-month sentence which he started in November. (New York Daily News)
MeToo! What - Then You're Suspended!
Three Cherry Creek school leaders - a principal, assistant principal and former counselor - were indicted on a charge that they failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on a 14-year-old student and, in fact, suspended the student. Back in 2013, the student, identified as "child victim" or "CV," reported the abuse and then was told by Prairie Middle School assistant principal AJ MacIntosh and principal David Gonzales that her the accusations would be devastating to Vasquez's career. MacIntosh also allegedly pressured her "to recant her disclosure of sexual abuse by Vasquez." It also says school personnel notified Vasquez of the allegations who later met with the victim to "impress upon her the devastating effects her disclosure would have on his career and family." Cherry Creek School Superintendent Harry Bull said he was aware of the indictments but has not read them. "We will continue to cooperate fully with law enforcement and the district attorney's office," Smith said. Also named in the indictment is Cheryl Somers-Wegienka, a former Prairie Middle School counselor, who is accused in the student's suspension. (Denver Post)
And You Thought Your HOA Was Bad!
So you think your homeowners' association is bad? In Auburn, California one HOA finally rescinded its ridiculously stupid policy forcing homeowners to keep their garage doors open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday! The Auburn Greens complex HOA in Placer County decided says the policy was designed to prevent people from living in garages. So residents who didn't keep their garage doors open during the day would face a $200 fine. Of course the policy also puts the homeowners at great risk of having valuables stolen and more. So they sent out a new letter that read: Dear resident, the new garage Door Policy has been put on hold by the Board of Directors effective immediately. You may keep your garage doors down until further notice. The Board of Directors will be working with the Membership (Homeowners) to hopefully come up with a more ‘reasonable' policy. (Sacramento Bee)
What the What?
Seems like some people have all the luck. In Randolph, Massachusetts, Robert Goodwin just won a $1 million jackpot on a $5 instant lottery ticket. So now he and his wife are even, because she one $1 million in the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes last August! The husband chose a lump-sum payment of $650,000 ― at least part of which will go toward purchasing a home in an over-55 community some place where he won't have to deal with snow. Americans reportedly spend an average of $207 on lottery tickets annually ― but rarely with results like this. Something to keep in mind. (Huffington Post)