ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Op-Eds and Letters Opposing Return-Free Tax Filing

At least eight letters and op-eds against return-free tax filing have been written by community leaders over the last year. Many of the pieces make similar arguments why return-free filing is bad, especially for the poor, and often share the same phrases and sentences. Related Story »

Elizabeth Patterson Letter

"Dear Congressman Thompson,

A matter of interest was brought to my attention and based on what I have learned, I am deeply concerned by the IRS' annoucement to Congress that the tax collecting agency also wants to take on the responsibility of processing and filing taxes for American working men and women.

The apparent potential for conflict of interest is a major concern. The IRS is doing its best job when the most in tax dollars are collected, and with a $300 billion tax gap from scofflaws, it's alarming and offensive that the IRS would focus on the most vulnerable Americans. As I understand the proposal, The IRS wants to take income information from employers, bank and credit unions, and then use that information to calculate tax returns. Without pertinent information such as the purchasing of a new home, caring for elderly parents, education, charitable contributions and many other factors, the lower and middle-income taxpayer will see their liability increase and refunds disappear." Read more »

Brian David Goldberg Letter to Congress

"Dear Congressman Camp,

As a professor and expert in political science, a philanthropist and elected educational leadership, I am shocked by the announcement to Congress that the tax collecting agency also wants to take on the responsibility of processing and filing taxes for American working men and women.

The most glaring factor is the conflict of interest. The IRS is doing its best job when the most in tax dollars are collected, and with a $300 billion tax gap from scofflaws, it's alarming and offensive that the IRS wants to make the most vulnerable Americans pay. The IRS wants to take income information from employers, bank, and credit unions and then use that information to calculate tax returns. Without pertinent information such as the purchasing of a new home, caring for elderly parents, education, charitable contributions and many other factors, the lower and middle-income taxpayer will see their liability increase and refunds disappear." Read more »