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Huffington Post
April 6, 2012

More Than 100 Million Unnecessary Tax Returns Filed Each Year
By David Cay Johnston

On March 28, the U.S. Justice Department sought to close a nationwide chain of income tax preparation shops it accuses of fraud. The action underscores the potential for abusive business practices that taxpayers face because Congress has failed to embrace technology that would eliminate most tax returns. About 100 million taxpayers -- those whose income is entirely from wages and retirement funds, and who do not itemize deductions -- should not have to file returns. The government already has the information it needs to calculate the taxes these people owe, once they supply their marital status and number of dependents. It would not take much to automate their income tax payments, as many other modern countries do. I put the chances of Congress taking such a sensible course at one in 84,000. That's about the same as the odds of being indicted for a tax crime in 2011, based on an analysis of official data by Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2012
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