“Not that Lisa” has just had her ‘Opt Out’ success story published at Jack Townsend blog. It is accompanied by his comments which I encourage you to read.
I came to know of Lisa during my dark days on Jack’s blog as “anon5Percent”. Later, due to her efforts to find me, I got to know her personally via phone and email conversations. She started commenting here as Lisa and evolved to Not that Lisa to eliminate confusion between her and another commenter.
I could not be more pleased about this success, and only sorry for her that it has taken so much frustration, anxiety, expense, and LCUs, which still required the intervention of the TAS for the IRS to “do the right thing”. I asked her permission tonight, to also highlight her 30 month saga to add to the resource of self help material on Isaac Brock Society.
I thought it was important to headline this ‘ORDEAL’ as many places as possible. I think she is being too generous to call her escape from the IRS penalty extraction processing factory a mere ‘Odyssey’. It is a total waste of taxpayers time and money for naught, and represents one of the reasons that ACA has called this abuse to the attention of the committees in Congress who are investigating IRS T-party scandal. We can not let this milestone pass as just another low profile comment on the OVDI Drudgery thread lost to a larger audience.
Below are the documents that she has made available to Isaac Brock Society. They are uploaded here for others to access and use as examples for their struggles.
What follows are her comments:
I offer these documents because fellow victims like Just Me, Moby, Sally, ij and bubblebustin have shared their experiences on both the Isaac Brock Society website and/or on Jack Townsend’s Federal Tax Crimes Site. Their experiences in OVDP and OVDI and their ideas have helped me immensely. I was all alone and learned so much from them. I also much appreciated the supportive comments of Michael Miller.
I cannot thank them enough. I would also like to thank those who have published information or made comments on Isaac Brock. Even if it has not always been directly related to my ordeal, it was helpful in understanding the big picture. Hopefully, by sharing my experiences, others will benefit.
Rather than write additional comments, I repeat here the conclusions I make at the end of my OVDI Odyssey story:
The OVDI process was entirely unnecessary and a waste of my time and money. After 30 months and excessive legal costs, I ended up in the same place I would have been without entering any Voluntary Disclosure Program. I filed amended returns, had an examination and was able to argue reasonable cause.
The IRS wasted lots of money and time to collect my $133 a year. The costs of the Taxpayer Advocate Service were additional public costs that were caused by inappropriate IRS policy. Furthermore, I incurred high legal costs and had to live with undue stress, as I was treated in the same category as criminals who had intentionally evaded taxes.
Nina Olson runs a tight ship at the Taxpayer Advocate Service. Her staff helped me to understand and feel less stressed and they were extremely conscientious as well. Congress made a good decision when they created the TAS and they could Not have a better person to lead it than Nina Olson. I am extremely grateful to Nina, her Senior Attorney Adviser and my Case Advocate. The issuance of the TAO changed my life for the better as the IRS finally started to move on my case.
The IRS policy of “one size fits all” was totally misguided. However, there are good, highly professional agents out there who are aware of this and will use the small amount of discretion they are given within the program. I think there is an unannounced policy within the IRS that one size does not fit all anymore. Outside of OVDI, examiners have more discretion, and the regulations in the IRM can work in the favor of most minnows.
The worst part of OVDI for me was dealing with tax professionals. The lawyers I dealt with made me feel like a criminal and ran up excessive fees. My experience with my IRS Revenue Agent was a lot more pleasant, While I think it is a good thing to get legal advice on your options and about the strength of your opt out arguments, ultimately, I did not see the need for extensive legal advice. Run from any lawyer who tells you that a Voluntary Disclosure Program is your only option, and that there is no negotiation.
The IRS needs to develop a better way to assist US person foreign residents to come into compliance. While the Streamlined Program is a start, the rules are confusing and unclear to both those inside and outside the IRS. The Streamlined Program needs to go further! Its rules need clarification and communication. The Streamlined Program could also be extended to immigrants to the US.
I have signed documents allowing my data to be used by the Taxpayer Advocate in the next Taxpayer Advocate Annual Report to Congress (ARC). Hopefully, this data, along with that of others can motivate the IRS and/or Congress to take action to fix the problems created by the OVDI/P approach.
I am grateful for the comments on this blog from other OVD victims and people who wanted to help. You saved me. Thank you and it is now time to move on.