At the beginning of each year, Americans dread the coming of tax season. The specter of needing to figure out the complex rules of the tax code hangs over each of us for the first third of the year, and most of us rush during April to come in under the deadline.
75% of Americans receive refunds. For those Americans, they’ve been (essentially) giving the US Government an interest-free loan through most of the year. They’d be better off having access to that money at the time they earn it. For the other 25% of Americans, needing to find the money to pay their tax balance adds unnecessary stress to their lives.
After taxes are filed, many Americans then spend weeks dreading an audit, hoping that the IRS doesn’t randomly select them. That process itself can add cost to the tax process, as most people don’t have the required expertise to deal with the IRS’s auditors.
This doesn’t have to be the case. The IRS has almost all the information they need to calculate your taxes within a fair degree of accuracy. They can do this automatically, guaranteeing that you hold on to more of your money throughout the year and will never need to spend money on expensive tax-preparation services or audit-protection insurance.
Right now most of us dread paying taxes for good reason. None of us has time to figure out where the receipts are and what we owe, and we’re constantly stressed that we’re screwing things up or leaving money on the table. Turning us into a nation of tax experts is a ridiculous waste of citizen time and energy. The IRS should be able to tell us how much we owe and automatically file our taxes for us. Every time we do something that we think is tax-relevant, we should just forward it to a particular email address or account and it gets added in. Taxes are a perfect candidate for automation and artificial intelligence because there are clear rules to follow. Let's use technology to simplify all of our lives and focus on more important things.
Problems to be Solved
- Preparing your taxes is a difficult process that requires hours of time, expensive software or paid specialists.
- Going through an audit is stressful and expensive, and if you did anything wrong, it’s most likely unintentional.
- Easing lives
- Reducing stress
- Remove the stress of filing taxes for the average American and get more money into the economy faster
- Increase trust in government
As President, I will…
- Instruct the IRS to implement a system whereby any American can opt into a program to have their taxes filed automatically.
- Instruct the IRS to coordinate with the Treasury to prepare a report on federal spending, and send each taxpayer a rundown of the actual amount of their taxes that went to each major spending area (e.g., domestic programs, foreign aid, military, etc).
- Increase the budget of the IRS by 50% to $16.2 billion and modernize it with the latest technology. Money spent on the IRS will almost certainly pay for itself many times over via better tax compliance and less wasted time of citizens. Running the country like a business means both taking care of constituents and collecting revenue as seamlessly and efficiently as possible.