Guest Author - Tracey-Kay Caldwell
Did you just spend hours calculating your taxes? Did you pay some one to figure out what your share of the cost of running the government is? Presidential candidate John Edwards wants to make it easier on you. He would have the IRS figure it out for you. The IRS already has the information you spent hours gathering. It gets reports from employers, banks; it knows your family size. It has all it needs to calculate your taxes. Edward’s “Form 1” would have the IRS calculate that tax for you and send you the tax bill, where you could verify, recalculate, or simply sign it and return it.
John Edwards said, "Hard-working families who pay their taxes shouldn't have to pay tax preparers too. With 'Form 1,' there is only one thing you have to do - sign and return it." That statement has run of foul of the special interests of the tax preparer industry. The tax preparer industry has fought efforts at the state level to simplify tax preparations. In California, one company spent more than $500,000 in a failed attempt to derail the successful ReadyReturn program. The tax software industry successfully lobbied to limit the IRS’s “Free File” program to low income taxpayers. Americans could save as much as two billion dollars in tax preparer fees with Form 1.
The Earned Income Tax Credit lifts more than four million working families out of poverty each year. However, one in four families eligible for the credit, fail to take it. By calculating the credit for these families, we could lift even more out of poverty, making it easier for working families to make ends meet. While families could continue to file the traditional way, Form 1 would have interactive website that would eliminate the need for data entry, calculators and tax tables. It will help families to determine the deductions available to them.
Edwards see his plan, to simplify the tax filing system, as one step in his process to make the tax code simpler and fairer and rewards work. Edward has said that the American tax code is unnecessarily complicated, full of shelters and loopholes that favor wealth over work. Edwards envisions a tax code where the burden is fairly shared by all Americans. A simpler tax code and a simpler filing process is one most Americans would welcome.