Imagine this scenario: The IRS may soon just do your taxes for you — and send you the bill.
If this sounds farfetched, it’s not.
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.
In March, Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN-05) introduced the Simple Return Act (H.R. 1069). The congressman’s press release called it, “a bill that would get the IRS to do your taxes for you.” He also noted that the Simple Return would allow the IRS to fill out a basic tax return for every American with the financial information it already receives from each taxpayer’s employer and financial institution: W-2 and 1099.
Cooper estimated that 40 million Americans would be eligible for the service, but some suspect this would just be the beginning. To combat the push, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) has authored H.R. 2528, the Taxpayer Freedom Protection Act, “to rescind the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury to develop a return-free tax system.”
It is unclear whether or not the “super committee” will actually propose this “solution,” but anti-tax activists, as well as those who represent the interests of tax preparers, are taking it seriously. Still, for something that has been openly discussed by everyone from Barack Obama to senators and congressmen, the idea is receiving remarkably little press coverage.