Taxes: A Fact Check
Several of my friends are clutching their pearls about the hiring of IRS agents over the next ten years, and Facebook is adding an AP Fact Check to some of their posts.In the last ten years, I prepared over 1,000 tax returns for low- and moderate-income families, and I can see firsthand that the IRS is dramatically overworked and understaffed.
This impacts things like whether you get your return processed, whether you get your refund quickly, whether you get your stimulus payment, whether you get your identity theft resolved, whether you get your questions answered, and whether the person processing your return is properly trained.
It also impacts how many people are cheating on their taxes, and I see a dramatic increase in cheating. Because of the automation of returns and complexity of the tax code, the wealthy are most able to benefit from cheating and the middle-class are most likely to pay higher taxes because of it.
(Remember my advice about retaining your documents—the IRS can audit you for three years—but in the case of fraud, they can audit you forever—so keep your tax documents for three years—but keep your fraudulent tax documents forever!! Follow me for more tax advice.)
No one likes big government, and no one likes to pay taxes, but if you want to defend our country and deliver our mail and maintain our roads and monitor our borders and open our national parks and process our Medicare and social security payments, and staff our airports, then taxes are necessary.
We can disagree about how big government should be and how well government is doing its job, but hopefully, we won’t disagree that if we decide (as a society) to collect taxes or to spend tax dollars, then we should do it effectively and efficiently. How many businesses leave the cash drawer open?