Taxes: Setting a Bad Example

Setting a Bad Example

Could it be? The IRS computer said so: a federal tax lien against Ronald Reagan. What to do? Audit the President? Attach his wages? Put the Reagan ranch on the auction block? Truth is, the First Taxpayer was never delinquent, simply the victim of an errant computer entry made last July.

An IRS instructor in Texas had used the Reagan name in a demonstration of the agency's electronic lien system. Later a trainee tapped the information into the computer system, creating a record that the President was a deadbeat. The mistake was caught and -- need it be said? -- quickly...

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