It is tax time again. Returns are due April 15. I do not look forward to paying taxes any more than anyone else. As a self-employed attorney, I always owe and never get a refund, so tax time is never happy for me. But every year, I remember the story of April 15, 1987, when seven million children suddenly disappeared from the United States.
Up until then, the IRS accepted parents on their word that they actually had children. After that, they began requiring Social Security numbers to claim dependents. In the previous year, about 77 million children were claimed on the tax rolls. Then in 1987, the number suddenly dropped to about 70 million. No missing persons reports were filed. No nationwide searches were done. Approximately seven million children disappeared from America – or at least the tax rolls.
Because we handle a good amount of bankruptcy cases at the Gouner Law Office, we have seen situations where the IRS caught up with people who claimed other people’s children on their taxes, and they had to settle up. It is not uncommon for parents going through divorce to fight over who gets to claim the kids. At least the kids are real, though, instead of imagined ones for tax purposes.
It is hard to believe it took the government until 1987 to suddenly begin requiring Social Security numbers. To read more about it, click on the link below.