Democrats Want The IRS To Do Your Taxes For You
If this came to be we could just as well abandon any pretense of financial privacy in this country. True, the IRS can audit your finances any time they want to ensure you’re paying your income taxes correctly, but turning all tax filing over to the IRS would mean a government agent keeping track of your earning and spending all the time.
All this to close an estimated $345 billion “tax gap” between what Americans pay in taxes and what the government thinks they could pay. But how much more would we spend on the army of IRS agents it would take to do the taxes of every citizen, business and organization in the country?
With a new congressional “super committee” tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts by November, creative ways to find additional revenue are in high demand. And allowing the IRS to prepare you taxes could be one solution.
The idea has been around for a while, but has been picking up steam in recent years. In 2006, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) argued it would close a $345 billion annual difference between what the government believes taxpayers owe them and what the IRS actually collects, which he calls the “tax gap.”
“I think the solution [to the tax gap problem] is to get rid of the middle-man and no fees required,” he said.
Obama’s former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee made a strong case for it in a 2006 New York Times op-ed, explaining, “… the revenue service could send you a tax form already filled out with the information it has for you — a Simple Return — rather than a blank tax form. You would simply check the numbers against your W-2 and 1099 and then sign it.”
But this isn’t just an idea floated by senators and presidential advisers. While running for president, then-Sen. Barack Obama touted it during a 2007 speech at the Tax Policy Institute: “The government already collects wage and bank account information,” he said, “so there’s no reason the IRS can’t send Americans pre-filled tax forms to verify.”
Let’s call this what it is. Combining this idea with mandatory income withholding, the government will have gone from taxing us to seizing our earnings and issuing a receipt. I’m sure you could challenge the receipt, but good luck fighting the IRS.
This turns the very concept of property rights on its head. How could we even claim to be private citizens any more? We’d be little more than government employees.
Bus isn’t there a simpler way? Rather than do this, why not go to some sort of a flat tax and have the government send us a bill for our share of federal taxes? A number of private companies bill nationally for services rendered. Why can’t the government? Other than that it would be politically inconvenient to do so.
Right now – thanks to the maze of deductions, credits, refunds and withholdings that our tax code is – most Americans don’t have a very firm grasp on what they pay for government. Can you imagine how that would change, how differently Americans might feel about government getting bigger, if instead of the withholding system we did now we instead got a bill in the mail for government?
One that got bigger when the government got bigger?Tags: irs, Taxes