Thursday, September 17, 2020
Jeffrey A. Dubin (MIT) & Emma Cockerell (USC), Bi-Annual Taxes – A Simple Solution to Rising Tax Non-Compliance, Shrinking IRS Budgets, and Increasing Taxpayer Burden:
Each year, individual tax non-compliance results in billions of dollars of lost tax revenue. While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducts examinations of select returns, the audit rate has fallen precipitously in past decades.
Meanwhile, the number of individual returns has grown and return complexity has risen. Individuals face a dauntingly complex tax code that requires the assistance of paid preparers. More than ever, the IRS experiences greater demands for assistance from taxpayers but fewer resources to fulfill these demands. Instead of the oft-proposed IRS budget increase, we propose a simple and pragmatic, but transformative, solution: the bi-annual filing and collection of taxes, which would minimize taxpayer and paperwork burdens, free up IRS funding, and result in a de facto doubling of the audit rate.
In aggregate, the plan is estimated to save $74 – $83 billion for the IRS and the American public.