IRS: We No Longer Accept Checks Over $99,999,999

Super-rich will just have to pay electronically
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2015 11:10 AM CDT
IRS: We No Longer Accept Checks Over $99,999,999
This photo taken Aug. 19, 2015 shows the The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Building in Washington.    (Andrew Harnik)

Owe the tax man $100 million or more? Your check is no good at the IRS. Starting next year, the IRS says it will reject all checks for more than $99,999,999. That's because check-processing equipment at the nation's Federal Reserve banks can't handle checks that big. Checks of $100 million or more have to be processed by hand, increasing the risk of theft, fraud, and errors, according to a pair of memos from the IRS and the Treasury Department. As a result, the richest among us will have to wire tax payments electronically. Or write multiple checks for less than $100 million apiece. Conservatives have been complaining for years that President Obama is trying to stick it to the rich, regularly proposing to raise their taxes. Now, they say, the Obama administration is making it harder for the super-rich to pay those taxes.

"If Obama really gets mean, he's going to make them bring in pennies or nickels," said anti-tax guru Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "You're trying to write a $100 million check to the government and they're treating you like dirt? These are your customers. If this was Las Vegas, they'd give you the suite and a bottle of champagne for free." But Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said he wishes he made enough money to pay $100 million in taxes. "It sounds to me like these people could afford to pay electronically," Van Hollen said. A corporation would have to make nearly $300 million in taxable profits to have a tax bill of $100 million. Investors who get the bulk of their income from capital gains would have to make about $500 million in taxable income. (More strange stuff stories.)

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