Government Pre-Filing Taxes

Mike Munger is in favor of the government pre-filling tax forms and letting taxpayers either accept the findings or submit their own returns.

This sounds like a pretty good idea that would fail miserably, especially if taxpayers would still be responsible for any mistakes.  In that case, even if you assume away a cynical, profit-maximizing IRS which purposefully (or accidentally-on-purpose), consistently under-charges people just to do “random audits” and later soak them on the penalties, there are still some potential problems.  The government has no incentive to get your return correct, meaning that anybody filing anything but the most basic return (e.g., if you have a home mortgage) would still be better-served filing his own return.


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