My response is:
>Nah, you're missing the forest when looking at the trees. Go bigger.
Why are we even having to file our own taxes? The IRS already checks everything. They have all the information that you enter into these systems (in fact, turbo tax has frequently had my W2 before my employer gives it to me, as well as many other documents).
So having us, or some middleman, doing it is double work. Let the IRS do it (because they determine if there is fraud or not), they send you a copy and you send it back either as is or with modifications.
If taxes are done this way who cares how complicated it is? (I'll hedge that in that it is harder to check the IRS's work, but I think less people care about this)
"Government: You owe us money. It’s called taxes.
Me: How much do I owe?
Gov’t: You have to figure that out.
Me: I just pay what I want?
Gov’t: Oh, no we know exactly how much you owe. But you have to guess that number too.
Me: What if I get it wrong?
Gov’t: You go to prison"
Sure, your government could calculate everyone's taxes but I'm guessing those taxes would need to go up...
I guarantee you'll get a discrepancy letter.
Supposedly a political gambit from the right. The idea is if paying your taxes is painless, you will cease to notice them. But the more painful paying them becomes, the more attention you will pay to what you are paying, and then the more you will object & vote to lower your taxes.
- We (R) don't want taxes
- We will make filing taxes the most cumbersome thing possible
- People will hate taxes
They rejected her return because I kicked two of the numbers on the EIN of one of her employers. The rejection was quick too, as we got the email about 20 minutes after submitting the return.
I always knew that the IRS checked your return, but I always figured it was something that eventually happened. I didn't think they checked everything as you submitted it. I don't know why I though that. Guess I pictured the IRS computer as an old IBM S/360 with core memory that did everything in batches.
I think that idea is common. But why wouldn't they automate it with modern(ish) hardware? It saves them money to do that. Just like it saves H&R block by creating a program. In fact I'm more surprised that H&R didn't flag it before you hit submit.
>> Let the IRS do it, they send you a copy and you send it back either as is or with modifications.
That's why you check it.
And to respond to a possible next question, do we trust TurboTax (or others) more?
> Also, if you have other income with no W2 it needs to be reported.
All those other forms that are handed to you are ALSO already handed to the IRS. For example the 1099. The W2 was an easily verifiable example of how they already have this information before you receive it. The gov already has copies of all those forms. So really as tax payers we're paying for the IRS to do our taxes and we're paying for companies like TurboTax to do it as well (assuming you don't do it yourself)
What I don't understand is why we can't have the IRS running their own tax prep website. The government seems to be capable of running other websites just fine.