What if paying taxes were as easy as paying your credit card statement? That would be ... well, much easier!
And it would be the future if Congress took up Sens. Ron Wyden and Judd Gregg's new tax reform plan, which in addition to dramatically changing the tax code by eliminating subsidies and tripling the standard deduction, would also give the IRS the ability the send taxpayers a one-page statement to review and sign -- just like you get in the mail from your credit card company.
Last week I spoke with Roberton Williams about this plan. Today, I checked in with William Gale at the Brookings Institution, who's been ringing the tax-simplification bell for years. Here's the first part of our interview, on why you should learn to love the IRS:
If Wyden-Gregg became law, it would make paying taxes incredibly easy. Most taxpayers would receive a simple one-page tax statement from the IRS to review and sign. That's it. What do you think of this idea?
I'm a big proponent of this idea. Imagine if we paid credit card bills like we pay taxes. At the end of the month we collect all our receipts and send an estimate to the credit card companies. And they say, "No you forgot all this," and we haggle. But no, instead they manage to collect all the relevant information and say, "Heres your bill. You can dispute this, but in the absence of dispute, this is your bill." That's the idea here.