greg (grysar) wrote,

On Taxes

Paid mine Saturday, although I botched the mailing of my MD estimated taxes. I'll wait a few days to see if it goes through anyways and the re-send.

John Edwards has a good tax reform proposal. Essentially, when the government already has the employer/financial institution information, they'd just send a "Form 1" where the IRS calculated the tax bill for the taxpayer. The person looks over the form and other signs and mails it back or recalculates it. Apparently that could apply to as many as 50 million Americans. For everyone else, the IRS will mail the records they have (on W-2s, 1099s, mortgage interest, and the like), so as to remove worries about audits on lost records. Seems like a fairly straightforward idea and one that is politically achievable.
Two things I'd add:
1) Free e-filing.
2) Allow charities to similarly submit information (at explicit donor request). So if you give your money to a big charity or a place of worship or the like, they notify the IRS and have it automatically incorporated into your form 1.

I'm not really worried about the privacy implications as this is all information that the government has anyways.

[Edit: Hat tip: Ezra Klein's blog.]

Also, I'm kinda freaked out by the V-Tech shooting. I hope the number of fatalities don't go any higher. I don't think there's any great insights that can or should be drawn at this point. It's just rather horrific and I've known a fair number of people that have gone to Virgina Tech so it feels a lot closer to home.
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