WASHINGTON: President Obama is pushing a new plan to have the IRS do your taxes – tell you what you owe.
The White House has told the new congressional “super committee” tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts by November, that it wants them to allow the IRS to prepare your taxes for you.
The idea has been around for a while, but has been picked up steam in recent years. In 2006, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucu (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.”
Barack Obama pushed the plan 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.”
While this notion of allowing government to encroach on yet another aspect of our lives might sound impossible, members of the National Tax Payers Association (NTPA) believe this is a very real threat.
“There is a fundamental conflict of interest if the tax collectors also become the tax preparer,” said NTPA President and CEO, Fred White. “If you don’t trust the fox to guard your hen house, why trust the IRS to do your taxes? It’s the same exact thing. They make it sound so convenient, but it’s really just a convenient way to kiss your deductions and tax credits goodbye.”
White is among the increasing number of voices who fear the “super committee” will follow President Obama’s request and put this new IRS plan into effect – without a single member of Congress having a chance to vote on it.
Last week, Mr. White was audited by the IRS – and declared bankruptcy yesterday.
President Obama would also like the government to have access to everyone’s bank accounts so the government can just take the money from your account without having you write out a check. “Let’s make things simple for Americans,” said President Obama.
“The President feels that the U.S. Government has the right to take money it’s owed from it’s citizens. It’ll be a standard wire transfer. No big deal,” added Vice President Joe Biden.
Biden also suggested that the government collect everyone’s full paycheck and then “just send back the difference. That”ll really make it easy for us.”
Are YOU worried?