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Tax Amnesty The state of Pennsylvania has a common problem: Hundreds of millions in unpaid state taxes. And it needs that revenue.

The state took the offensive with a $3 million ad campaign to promote its state tax amnesty program.

Tax amnesty is a program that the government uses every several years to try to get criminally liable taxpayers to pay the amount they owe. They agree to not criminally prosecute taxpayers in exchange for payment in full of all taxes, penalties and interest owed.

The television ad begins with a satellite view of earth. A serene computerized woman’s voice is heard. It sounds like a female version of the computer voice from the film and novel “2001” which has a computer which wants to control humans.

There is a target in the ad. It’s centered on a homing beacon. The computer zooms in on the United States.

The voice says, “We have contacted the tax delinquents and we do know who they are. We have addresses.”

Transcript of Tax Amnesty Video

Female computer voice:
Your name is Tom. You live just off of Fifth Street. Nice car, Tom. Nice house.

The satellite zooms. Target trained on southeastern, Pennsylvania. Beeping. The computer with the female voice is locating you.

Female computer voice:
What’s not so nice is, you owe a lot of money in back taxes. Listen, Tom. We can make this easy.

Zoom. We see a topographic city view. Beeping.

Female computer voice:
Pay online by June 18 and we’ll skip your penalty and take half off your interest.

Zoom. It’s a neighborhood block. The target is now on Tom’s house. Birdseye view. Beeping.

Female computer voice:
Because Tom? We DO know who you are.


The target buzzes over the word “YOU.”

This may currently be fiction, but technology exists to monitor every bank account, financial institution and digital transaction. Theoretically the government could eavesdrop into your entire financial history, intrude into your life and deduct the amount owed automatically.

Thankfully the IRS does not have a dedicated computer to suck money out of taxpayers, and hopefully this will remain science fiction.

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