Ages ago I read a nice story that sounds quite reasonable, but might be complete nonsense. Here it goes:
A private detective in the USA has lots of lawyers as customers. And they are notoriously bad at paying their bills. As a result, the detective owes money to the IRS. He talks to the IRS on the phone, and explains that he would love to pay his tax bill, but can't because so many of his customers are not paying their bills.
The tax officer says "I'll come to your office on Monday morning. Please have your 20 largest unpaid bills ready".
Monday morning, the tax officer arrives, takes the first unpaid bill to a lawyer, and calls: "Hi, this is John Smith. I'm informed that you owe private detective X an amount of $Y. Is that true?" Then the story explains (whether true or false I don't know) that in the USA it is quite possible to delay a payment legally, but it is illegal to falsely claim that you don't owe a debt. So when the lawyers office confirms, he says "I'm John Smith from the IRS, and I would ask you to pay the amount you owe to the IRS. Today. " And two hours later, the detectives tax bill is paid.
Question 1: Is it indeed illegal to lie about owing money?
Question 2: Would a company owing someone money that is past due payment be obliged to send the money to the IRS to pay the person's tax bill, assuming that the tax officer and the person owed state that this should happen?
Or is this story not reasonably possible?