The saga of Kent and Jo Hovind with the IRS has taken another turn for the worse (for them, at least). Kent, perhaps the most dishonest and ridiculous of all the young earth creationists, is still in federal prison for not paying taxes. And now a court has ruled that they owe $3 million to the IRS.
Mr. and Mrs. Hovind did not file returns. They were both involved in the financial transactions of the enterprises and they lived together. That makes it hard for the IRS to sort out which of them should be taxed on the unreported income. They are married, but filing a joint return is an election. The solution is for the IRS to send a deficiency notice to each of them for 100% of the tax. With interest and penalties the balance for the years 1998 to 2006 is over $3,000,000.
That probably isn’t fair. If you can’t figure out which one of them to assign the income too, why not split it in half and charge half to each of them? Actually, in this case, it should probably all be charged to Kent because he was the one who made all the decisions, according to the court that sentenced him:
Mr. Hovind, as I’ve already indicated, was the decision-making authority for the operation, and based on the degree of control and influence that he exercised over others, including those involved in the financial transactions at issue here, I believe I can find and do find that the adjustment for being an organizer and a leader of an otherwise extensive operation is appropriate.
If the trial court in his case found that he was the decision maker, it seems to me that the full tax bill should be assigned to him. But if they have jointly owned assets, they should be fair game for seizure.