Poor Quest. And WorldCom, Enron, and HealthSouth for that matter. They "overpaid" the government, and now they want their money back.
These infamous companies purposely lied to the IRS, overstating their income. As reported last week, they're now saying, "Oops, we gave you too much. Give us a refund."
That's like someone who robbed a bank going back to deposit the money in his account, drawing interest from the very bank he bilked. WorldCom has already received a $300 million refund. Enron and Quest are trying for either a refund or credits. HealthSouth is "looking into it."
The results of these companies' lies cost the American public millions in savings and retirement funds. Americans have lost their trust in large companies because of the scandals.
Why should these criminals get a break on their taxes, when it's doubtful the IRS would be so kind to a private citizen pulling the same thing? Honest mistakes happen all the time with the IRS. The agency doesn't often waver with them -- it's been known to make life a living hell for some people. Some say the government is needlessly benefiting from the money these companies overpaid. There's a simple solution to that: The IRS could give them their refunds, but put the money in an escrow account to be distributed to those they bilked. While they're at it, the government could impose hefty fines for lying.
Under no circumstances should any money or tax credits be given directly back to these companies. To do so would encourage other companies to use the same accounting practices. It's like telling them, "OK, so you purposely made a mistake that totally messed up people's lives. No big deal. All is forgiven."
-- Crookston Daily Times
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