Interesting article in Bloomberg Businessweek detailing a program in Brazil that encouraged customers to essentially become arms of their governments tax authority.
This is how it works:
In the State of Sao Paulo in Brazil, customers who ask for a receipt can give their social security number to the cashier. Businesses have to submit their copy of those receipts—with or without social security numbers—to the tax authority. The authority creates an account for every social security number entered into the system and reports to customers which receipts have been entered with their social security number and how much they are for. Customers receive a rebate worth about 30 percent of their share of sales taxes paid through the business each month, and for every $50 of receipts they are entered into a lottery with a maximum payout of $500,000. They can complain online if they think receipts are missing or have the wrong price.
The IRS noted that “Overall, compliance is highest where there is third-party information reporting and/or withholding. …”
Not that anyone should be surprised by the existence of such a program, or the IRS’s admiration of coercing third parties to do some of their legwork. This is par for the course in the bankrupt era in which we find ourselves. People are no longer citizens but chattel who serve only two purposes – maintaining the status quo through blind, single-issue and/or reactionary voting and forking over the meager fruits of our labor into the money-pits that used to be our governments.
Don’t look for things to get less Orwellian any time soon. We have jumped the shark.