The IRS is considering a program by which they will offer a free, no-return-necessary tax filing service. No, really. In other words, you sign up for the program, and they fill out your tax forms for you and send you a bill or your refund. Presumably more of the former.
Right: you sign up, and the guys whose job it is to collect as much money as possible will determine the amount you suddenly owe. And without a return form for you, you have no idea what numbers they put down on it.
And this at a time when a tax preparation service estimates that Americans overpay a billion dollars by not checking their work on their own forms. Sounds like a great idea, if you are with the IRS.
Because we know the IRS is under no compulsion to save you money; in accounting circles, it has long been assumed that the burden of proof is on the preparer, not the IRS, to determine what you can deduct. This is more than the fox guarding the hen house: it’s the fox walking right in and deciding which hen is juicier.
Then comes the question as to whether millions of Americans participating in this service will trust the IRS not to make a mistake on any individual form. You can envision all sorts of no-fly-list, dead-people-collecting-social-security, we-regret-to-inform-you-your-son-did-not-actually-die-in-combat-telegram mistakes, but you don’t have to look at other branches of government to find horrors. The IRS has made plenty of mistakes just doing the narrowest definition of their job.
Unlike Obamacare, at least this proposed program has an assumed opt-out. For now.
You know, if the Czar were a betting man, he might suspect this free service has nothing to do with helping tax payers through the complexities of filling out their own tax forms. After all, there are plenty of free and inexpensive ways to do that now. Rather, it might have more to do with the tens of thousands of people the IRS will need to hire for this service.
The Czar is cynical, yes, but only a Democrat president would consider such a move a smart one.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.