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In this case, looking at things from a practical POV (I admit, not usually a very smart thing to do when it comes to taxes) it may make sense for an administrator to just pay the $53 to resolve the matter. I can envision a series of correspondence stretching out over several years with the tax authorities that could easily eat up a lot more than $53 of a persons time. If paying the $53 out of one's pocket permanently resolves the issue, I would consider it a reasonable use of the $53.

I understand that each of us may differ on when we would deem it worthwhile to pay or to not to pay such a bill. Does the IRS have any definitions on this?

I would assume that all taxing authorities have some sort of "write off" level below which they won't pursue collection because it would cost them more than they'd recover. If they don't, they should.

The sad thing is that when I was a friend's executor (and heir) I cried when I wrote the check to pay his taxes from estate funds. I knew good and well the IRS would never figure out how to collect it if I didn't pay it voluntarily, but those damn scruples got in the way again!

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