Synopses & Reviews
Intrigues. Illicit affairs.
Scheming corporate climbers.
Welcome to the IRS.
Plug anyone's name — yes, yours — into the computer at the Internal Revenue Service, add a Social Security number, and within three minutes, they know this about you: every place you've ever worked, how much money you make, who your spouse is, and where your investments are. And that's just the beginning.
Confessions of a Tax Collector is the story of how being granted virtually unlimited power over other people's lives can radically alter one's own. Twelve years ago, Richard Yancey needed a job. He answered a blind ad in the newspaper offering a starting salary higher than what he'd made over the three previous years combined. It turned out that the job was as a field officer with the Internal Revenue Service, the most hated and feared organization in the federal government. It also turned out that Yancey was brilliant at it.
In this secretive, paranoid culture, built around the premise of war, Yancey became a revenue officer, the man who gets in his car, drives to your house, knocks on the door, and makes you pay. Never mind that his car is littered with candy wrappers, his palms are sweaty, and he can't remember where he stashed his own tax records. He's there on the authority of the United States government.
Yancey's keen eye and sardonic wit capture all the intrigue, fury, and ridiculous vanity beneath the dark suits and mirrored sunglasses. While sketching an astonishing cast of too-strange-for-fiction characters, Yancey details how the job changed him, and how he managed to pull himself back from the brink of moral, ethical, and spiritual bankruptcy.
Confessions of a Tax Collector is a memoir that reads like fiction. If only that were true. You may never lie to your accountant again . . . because it's the Internal Revenue Service's world — and we just pay taxes in it.
"With a title like a TV movie and characters that would be at home in corporate-world fiction, this memoir...is downright absorbing....An excellent, eye-opening book." Booklist (Starred Review)
"[Yancey's] description of what life is like inside the IRS is generally engaging and shows the fallibility of a system that comprises, after all, men and women who have their own strengths and weaknesses." Publishers Weekly
"Yancey comes across as a decent, humane guy, certainly not your typical tax inquisitor, who has succeeded in writing an engaging insider's account of life inside the dreaded IRS." Library Journal
"Offers fascinating insight into the most feared and loathed agency of government...All of the names were changed. And no one was innocent." Minneapolis Star Tribune
Book News Annotation:
A produced playwright, former theater critic, and published novelist, Yancey worked for the Internal Revenue Service for 12 years, beginning in 1990. His account of life in the IRS--with the names, personal appearances, and histories of the real individuals changed to protect their identities--reads like a novel, and provides a firsthand view of the institution, its policies and practices, its particular workplace culture, what it's like to learn the ropes as a trainee, and life as a full-fledged revenue officer. No subject index.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A former IRS employee describes the bizarre inhabitants of a Byzantine kingdom whose bunker-mentality is largely responsible for the most efficient tax system in the world.
About the Author
Richard Yancey worked for twelve years as a revenue officer for the Internal Revenue Service. He is a produced playwright, a former theater critic, and a published novelist.