Taxpayer Over the Edge: A Software Engineer Crashes His Plane into an IRS Office Building

In Austin, Texas, a software engineer was so angry with the Internal Revenue Service that he crashed his small plane into an office building housing nearly 200 federal tax employees on Thursday, February 18, 2010. Officials said the crash set off a raging fire that sent terrified workers fleeing as jets of black smoke engulfed the air.

Plane Crashes Into Federal Building

Plane Crashes Into Federal Building

United States law officials have identified the pilot who is assumed to have died in the crash as Joseph Stack. On his Web site, the insanely furious man outlines problems with the IRS, stating that “Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.

Stack continues his diatribe, writing on Thursday morning, “I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”

What remains a mystery is why anyone would have to go to such tragic extremes when it comes to dealing with a tax problem? Without question, dealing with taxes and the Internal Revenue Service can be a source of extreme frustration. However, there is no justification for resorting to violence. In addition, violence solves nothing, only increasing the severity of any problem.

If Joseph Stack had calmed down and talked to a tax professional like Peter Stephan, it is likely that most of his problems could have been solved. With years of experience and expert knowledge, a tax professional knows how to deal with the IRS on favorable terms. Instead of trusting such expertise, Stack chose a tragic path that now seems to have left his family homeless as well.

Earlier Thursday about five miles from the crash site, Stack’s $232,000 home was engulfed in flames. Law enforcement officials said Stack apparently set fire to his home before the crash. Neighbor Elbert Hutchins said a woman and her teenage daughter drove up to the house before firefighters arrived on the scene. “They both were very, very distraught,” said Hutchins, a retiree who said he didn’t know the family well. “‘That’s our house!’ they cried ‘That’s our house!’”

It appears that that Joseph Stack slammed into the Austin building on purpose in an effort to blow up IRS offices. “It felt like a bomb blew off,” said Peggy Walker, an IRS revenue officer who was sitting at her desk in the building when the plane crashed. “The ceiling caved in and windows blew in. We got up and ran.”

Billowing Black Smoke as Fire Rages

Billowing Black Smoke as Fire Rages

Andrew Jacobson, also an IRS Revenue Officer, was on the second floor when he heard a “big whoomp” and then a second explosion. “When I went to look out the window I saw wreckage, wheels and everything. That’s when I realized it was a plane,” said Jacobson, whose bloody hands were bandaged. On account of the smoke and debris blocking the stairs, Jacobson used a metal bar to bust a window so his colleagues could crawl out on a concrete ledge where they were rescued by the firefighters.

Austin Fire Department Division Chief Dawn Clopton said that at least one person who worked in the building was unaccounted for and two people had been hospitalized. IRS spokesman Richard C. Sanford stated that about 190 IRS employees work in the building and the agency presently was trying to account for all of its workers.

Onlookers who saw the crash were shocked to see the see the plane flying so low. “It was insane,” said Matt Farney, 39, who was in the parking lot of a nearby Home Depot. “It didn’t look like he was out of control or anything.” Reginaldo Tiul-Tiul said he had just gotten off a bus when he saw the plane crash.  Tiul-Tiul, 30, said in Spanish, “It went straight for the building.”

According to California Secretary of State records, Stack had a troubled business history with two self-started software companies in California that ultimately were suspended by the state’s Franchise Tax Board. In 1985, he incorporated Prowess Engineering Inc. in Corona. It was suspended two years later. He started Software Systems Service Corp. in Lincoln in 1995 and that entity was suspended in 2001. Stack listed himself as chief executive officer of both companies.

What is essential to realize is that such a tragic chain of events never has to happen. As we all know, tax problems with the IRS can generate a phenomenal level of frustration and fear. If Joseph Stack, however, had called the Tax Resolution Institute years ago when his tax troubles began, a workable solution could possibly have been found. Violence is never the answer. Although often unpleasant and frustrating, taxes are a reality. Such a reality never has to become a crisis with the help and guidance of tax professionals like Peter Stephan and the Tax Resolution Institute. Why crash a plane into a building, killing yourself and risking innocent lives, when a sensible answer could be only one phone call away? If you need tax resolution services, feel free to call the Tax Resolution Institute at 800-401-5926 or fill out our  tax resolution form.

Peter Y. Stephan

About Peter Y. Stephan

Peter Y. Stephan, executive director of the Tax Resolution Institute, has been helping people resolve large, complex payroll tax problems and personal income tax problems for over 25 years. Peter has written a book "The Ultimate Tax Resolution Guide" and speaks on Tax Resolution topics frequently.

Something to Cry About: IRS Files Tax Lien For A Million Dollars Against Pop Singer Aaron Carter

Pop singer Aaron Carter, the younger brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, has had two tax liens filed against him by the IRS for a total of over one million dollars in back taxes. Recently in the news crying on Dancing With The Stars after having his moves criticized by the judges, Aaron Carter now really has something to cry about. Having been eliminated as a contestant on the hit show, the teen idol will have to figure out a new way to raise the money to pay his back tax debt.

Aaron Carter's Tax Liens

Aaron Carter's Tax Liens

After experiencing a history of criminal business management, Carter needs the help of a respected tax professional like Peter Stephan and the Tax Resolution Institute. With Peter Stephan by his side, Carter possibly can negotiate an Offer in Compromise or an Installment Agreement that will allow him to reasonably pay off the back tax debt without doing more damage to his reputation and his financial future. If Carter had been with Creative Arts Management, the business arm of TRI, his security would have been ensured through proper financial management.

The former teen idol reportedly owes the Internal Revenue Service more than $1 million in back taxes, including $963,000 on his 2003 income, according to the New York Post. In addition, to round off the amount owed to a cool million, he also owes $45,350.11 on his 2006 income taxes. Aaron Carter, like his older brother, had a successful recording career as a teenager. He also starred in the E! Reality series, House of Carter, with his four siblings. His current manager, Johnny Wright, told Entertainment Tonight, “It is unfortunate that while Aaron was a minor, his finances were grossly mismanaged by his previous team which has led to the current situation of which he was unaware of until today.”

Aaron Carter is known for media reports regarding his personal life, including his relationships with Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan, and his past legal problems, some involving his suing for emancipation from his mother as a minor. None of these problems, however, threaten his financial future like this new tax crisis with the IRS and the tax liens filed against him. With his family back in his corner, Carter is waging a publicity campaign to explain how he is the victim of a criminal manager who took advantage of a child performer.

Carter’s parents filed a lawsuit against former manager Lou Pearlman alleging that he failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties on Carter’s 1998 album. Pearlman, who discovered both the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, was declared in contempt of court in 2003 for ignoring a court order to produce documents related to the royalty payments. He is currently in federal prison serving a 25-year sentence related to a $300 million Ponzi scheme.

It is clear that what Aaron Carter truly needs is reliable and effective business and tax management in his corner, helping him to deal with the present tax problems and avoid future difficulties. Peter Stephan and the Tax Resolution Institute are not only about the diagnosis and treatment of severe tax problems; they also focus on prevention through business and asset management.

Despite the flood of bad press, former Dancing With the Stars partner Karina Smirnoff says that Carter is handling it well. Noting his age at the time of the tax bills, she added, “I don’t see why he can be held responsible. He was a baby when all that… happened.” With Peter Stephan and Creative Arts Management in his corner, Aaron Carter can guarantee that such a tax crisis will never happen again. Beyond the treatment of tax resolution to deal with the current crisis, CAM offers the preventive measures of healthy and reliable business management for an entertainer like Aaron Carter.

Aaron Carter Tearing Up on Dancing With The Stars

Aaron Carter Tearing Up on Dancing With The Stars

Peter Y. Stephan

About Peter Y. Stephan

Peter Y. Stephan, executive director of the Tax Resolution Institute, has been helping people resolve large, complex payroll tax problems and personal income tax problems for over 25 years. Peter has written a book "The Ultimate Tax Resolution Guide" and speaks on Tax Resolution topics frequently.

Robin Givens Sued By The Federal Government For $292,000 Owed To The IRS In Back Taxes

Robin Givens, actress and ex-wife of former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, had a lawsuit filed against her in Tampa, Florida at the end of 2009 by the Federal Government. Representing the IRS, the Feds sued the 44-year-old actress over what is claimed to be $292,000 of unpaid federal taxes, interest and penalties that date back as far as 1996. It is clear that Robin Givens could have used the help of a tax professional like Peter Stephan and the Tax Resolution Institute before her tax crisis became so extreme. Nevertheless, with the proper representation and negotiation, an Offer in Compromise or an Installment Agreement could be worked out before further steps are taken and the financial situation worsens.

Robin Givens in Tax Crisis

The IRS Tax Crisis of Robin Givens

In the May of 2009, the lawsuit was filed in order to record a formal judgment against Robin Givens on 39 separate tax assessments that cover a total of eight of the twelve calendar years from 1996 to 2007. Although her children attend school in Tampa, Givens is known to have residences both in Florida and New York. When asked about the lawsuit, the Los Angeles-based agent of the actress, Darryl Marshak, refused to comment, verifying only that Givens does use the Florida address as her primary residence.

Born in New York, Givens has had an up and down entertainment career that was highlighted by her paparazzi-dominated marriage to the heavyweight champion. Remembered for an extreme television interview with Barbara Walters where she described her marriage to Tyson as “worse than anything I could possibly imagine”, Givens received a huge financial settlement upon separating from the boxer. Since Tyson also has experienced problems in the past with the IRS, the ex-husband and wife now have more in common than ever before.

What remains intriguing about the tax problems of Robin Givens is that the IRS tax bill does not simply cover a single year of tax problems. Unlike Nicolas Cage whose tax problems rose from a single year of avoidance, Robin Givens has a long history of avoiding taxes that stretches back over a decade. Clearly, her business managers and advisors allowed the problem to worsen until it reached the point of public humiliation and a Federal lawsuit. With the guidance and help from an experienced tax professional, Robin Givens could have avoided such exposure.

However, Givens is no stranger to trouble when it comes to paying her taxes. Public records reveal numerous state and federal tax liens against her over the years in New York, Florida and California. Many of the Federal liens may be part of the new lawsuit against her. In some cases, the state tax liens have been released which implies that payments were made.

The Memoir of Robin Givens — Grace Will Lead Me Home

Will Grace Save Robin Protect from the IRS?

Robin Givens entitled her 2007 memoir, Grace Will Lead Me. If she is going to be led out of her IRS tax crisis, she will need a little more than grace. On the Forbes “star currency” list, Robin Givens currently ranks 1,224 out of 1,400 when it comes to worldwide bankability. As a result, there is the question of whether she can find the work that will provide her with the financial resources she now needs. Rather than fish for such a questionable catch, Robin Givens needs the guidance and help of a tax professional like Peter Stephan to help find a workable solution before the lawsuit leads to IRS levies and the seizure of her assets.

Peter Y. Stephan

About Peter Y. Stephan

Peter Y. Stephan, executive director of the Tax Resolution Institute, has been helping people resolve large, complex payroll tax problems and personal income tax problems for over 25 years. Peter has written a book "The Ultimate Tax Resolution Guide" and speaks on Tax Resolution topics frequently.