Loading...
Judging by the number of folks charged with driving under influence I am guessing the penalty is rather light. Of...

Make paying taxes easier

Loading…

Monday, April 15, 2019

The New York Times

Congress has landed on one of those rare ideas that commands support from both Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, it’s a bad one.

On Tuesday, the House approved legislation misleadingly titled the Taxpayer First Act that includes a provision prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service from developing a free online system that most American households could use to file their taxes. The Senate is considering a similar piece of bipartisan legislation.

This makes no sense. Congress should be making it easier for Americans to file their taxes. Instead of barring the IRS from making April a little less miserable, why isn’t Congress requiring the IRS to create a free tax filing website?

Better yet, the United States could emulate the roughly three dozen countries, including Chile, Japan and Britain, where most taxpayers do not need to fill out tax returns. In some of those countries, the accuracy of tax withholding is sufficient to obviate the annual filing process. In others, the government sends out completed forms to most taxpayers. In Estonia, filing taxes can be done in less than three minutes.

The federal government collects enough information about most American households to mail out a completed tax form that people would simply need to verify, sign and return. In 1998, Congress passed a law instructing the IRS to develop such a system by 2008. It still hasn’t happened.

The explanation is sad but not surprising. The most vocal opponent of simplicity is Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, which has spent millions of dollars lobbying against efforts to reduce demand for its services. The company draws support from conservatives worried that making it easier to file taxes would make it easier to raise taxes.

Intuit and its allies, including proponents of the legislation, say that it’s cheaper and better for the government to let private companies run the system. But companies have little incentive to advertise the availability of free filing or to make the system easy to use. Indeed, they have every reason to steer people away from the free products. That is how they make money.

As a result, the government is saving taxpayer money at the expense of those taxpayers.

Members of Congress pay lip service to ideas like filing taxes on a postcard, but they continue to perpetuate the current system of mass April immiseration by preventing the most obvious and effective way to simplify tax collection.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Op Ed

April 20, 2019

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH

On Monday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced he would not be delivering the commencement speech at his alma mater, Virginia Military Institute, nor will he attend any other graduation ceremonies this season.

Last week, the governor appeared ready to emerge from his self-imposed…

April 20, 2019

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, the highly improbable candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, made this insightful comment to The New York Times: "The story that we tell, not just about government but about ourselves, and the story we tell people about themselves and how…

Steve and Cokie Roberts

April 19, 2019

Roughly $1.25 billion. That's how much Duke Energy customers will be overpaying for electricity over the next 10 to 15 years. We can thank North Carolina law — and Gov. Roy Cooper — for the higher bills that come with long-term solar energy contracts Duke has been forced to accept.…

Donald van der Vaart

April 19, 2019

The Telegraph of London

There are few more iconic buildings in the world than the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. The fire that has ripped through the great building is not just a tragedy for France but for the whole of Europe.

The church, with its familiar double towers and spire, now sadly…

April 18, 2019

I recently spoke at the University of North Carolina Clean Tech Summit and I was inspired by our state’s enormous potential to fully transition to a clean energy economy. I challenged the students and business leaders in attendance to embrace disruption and exemplify the leadership North…

Michael S. Regan

April 18, 2019

On April 11, the ongoing saga of journalist and transparency activist Julian Assange took a dangerous turn.

Ecuador's president, Lenin Moreno, revoked his asylum in that country's London embassy. British police immediately arrested him — supposedly pursuant to his "crime" of jumping bail…

Knapp

April 17, 2019

There's a push to change laws to permit both criminals serving time and ex-criminals the right to vote. Guess which party is pushing the most for these legal changes. If you guessed that it was the Democrats, go to the head of the class. Bernie Sanders says states should allow felons to vote from…

April 16, 2019

The bribery scandal that has ensnared N.C. Republican Party Chairman Robin Hayes couldn't be a more perfect example of how big money can corrupt state politics.

Hayes was indicted on charges that he'd worked with insurance company executive Greg Lindberg to bribe the state's insurance commissioner…

Colin Campbell

April 16, 2019

If you were to poll North Carolinians on an open-ended question about what they think the biggest threat to liberty is in the state, there would certainly be lots of different and diverse answers.

You might even see responses like "climate change" and "Yankees moving here." Democrats might say…

Ray Nothstine

April 15, 2019

The New York Times

Congress has landed on one of those rare ideas that commands support from both Democrats and Republicans. Unfortunately, it’s a bad one.

On Tuesday, the House approved legislation misleadingly titled the Taxpayer First Act that includes a provision prohibiting the Internal…

267 stories in Op Ed. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»