Sunday, March 27, 2011
When Congress jerks around with the tax laws, bad things happen. Generous wealthy people who have to deal with federal gift taxes for 2010 are supposed to file their gift tax returns by April 18 -- the same deadline as for their income tax returns. But because Congress took until December of 2010 to figure out what the law was going to be for 2010, the IRS couldn't get the gift tax return form instructions generated until last Friday, only a month before the filing deadline.
It gets worse: The rules that Congress finally passed are so screwy that even the IRS couldn't get them straight. The form instructions that the agency published were wrong, and the IRS was forced to take them down on Wednesday of this week. Maybe the IRS should send all the rich folks a request for an extension.