Would You Let The I.R.S. Prepare Your Taxes?

  |     |   1,067 posts since 2010

There's got to be a better way for doing taxes; “return-free filing”

described herein makes sense to me---how about you?  Beware, you may well

change your opinion of Intuit (Turbo Tax) after reading this. Read more:

  |     |   4,118 posts since 2010
My return is so simple I regularly use Free File on the IRS web site.

Essentially we are back to the post regarding this...
  |     |   2,893 posts since 2010
Have been staying with a sick friend and read an article in another paper at my friends house yesterday that said the government would mail you the return and if you agree you send it back. Work done. If they are missing something you can file your return. They quoted the billions of dollars it would save and also the many man hours it would save. It also stated that the reason we do not have it now is that there are lobbyists going to Congress because of the people that would be out of jobs. It is called job preservation. 
  |     |   117 posts since 2012
I read about it too, in the New York Times. Apparently Intuit (who are behind TurboTax) have spent many $millions lobbying against this. I say go ahead and save billions. It is crazy that we all spend hours and $s on an annual tax return which is avoidable and not done in most modern countries.
  |     |   2,603 posts since 2011
Sorry but I don't trust the government to do my taxes after my experience with the IRS.  How is this going to save taxpayers money?  They will still have to pay government employees to put the info together "correctly" and decide how much we owe. This will just complicate things for people like myself who pay their estimated taxes in "one" payment with their taxes and put any refund toward next year's estimated taxes.  It's not a "one size fits all" with taxes.  I prefer to do my own.
  |     |   22 posts since 2011
Well Ally, there are lots of things they do in Europe that we do not do here because of lobbyists guarding their own little piece of the pie.  Europe has had chips in their credit cards for years but here we are only now getting close to doing the same.  The huge data breach at Anthem would have been much less problematic if the data had been encrypted but that was another case of companies being allowed to slide.  The regulations put in place to try to prevent another banking system collapse will be rolled back soon.  Of course, the bottom line is we can blame lobbyists, members of Congress, etc but the only people really to blame are the American people.  Whether a democrat or a republican tries to offer up a solution for anything, half of Americans will be against it and thus nothing will happen.  We are our own worst enemies.  The way taxes are done here is ridiculous.  I just wish they would do away with all deductions and adjustments and just present each of us with a tax bill (much like a car tax bill or a property tax bill) and be done with it.  But then if taxes are ever simplified, half the country will protest because the party they are affiliated with didn't think of it.
  |     |   2,893 posts since 2010
If you think your property taxes are fair you certainly have not gone through the tax roll. I have in our township and am going to the Michigan Tax Tribunal. There are parcels in our township whose SEV and taxable value has not changed even though there was a sale of the property. The house next door had a SEV of $70,000 more than he paid for his new home. They were a young couple and did not understand how the assessing worked and when they got back in our country I explained how it works and what it should be but it was too late for that year and he paid $2500 more than he should have. I could go on but if your county and or township does not put the tax roll on the internet I highly suggest you go through the books to see how fair they are. When we first bought the land we built our first home on our vacant 58 acres was assessed more than any of the 3 guys homes on the BOR and they had from 52 acres to 100 acres with homes and barns and oh yes the assessor and supervisors homes were not even on the tax roll. They were not paying any property taxes. I was warned not to go there by myself and so I had a hidden tape recorder under my winter coat and recorded the filthy language that came out of their mouths when I told them I was not leaving the room until my assessment came down to what they had and the other 2 had their properties put on the books or their assessments were brought up to what mine was. That is the time another person walked into the room and I was no longer intimidated or threatened. I sent the tape to Lansing and they came down to my home and they took care of the problem and got rid of all the guys on the board of review, the supervisor and the assessor. I don't care what the rules are but they must be equal for everyone. I will fight to make sure they are. After we built our home I ran for office and was elected treasurer and did that for 23 years. I had my tires split, they unbolted out big satellite dish so that when we moved it if fell to the ground. They are menacing but gutless. I taped some of the stuff they did at some of the meetings and the chief of police asked if he could have it. He also lived in the township. I made copies and he took them up to  the secret service in GR. 
  |     |   2,603 posts since 2011
I can understand the unfairness of the younger couple's property taxes but doesn't your country have "homestead exemption" for seniors?  Why were you concerned about your taxes?  If you are a senior and lived in our former city/state you would not have had to pay any property taxes.  They seem to play games with property taxes in all counties depending upon who your assessor was.  The young may have had their property assessed lower so they could pay less taxes.  You may have caused them to pay more taxes by getting their property reassessed.  It's seems to be really a game to keep the assessor in office and our guy kept getting back in since the property owners liked not having to pay little or no taxes especially if they were seniors.  We just had to fill out a card each year stating we still owned the property and our age and mail it back and we were exempt.

You may have meant well but I wonder if your dedication to "help" may have ended up costing these people more in taxes.  Then again, I don't know what system your county was using to tax people so I hope you were really helping yourself and those people.  Nothing really "fair" about property taxes but it's all politics and what is really fair about politics.
  |     |   2,893 posts since 2010
My country is America and has nothing to do with property taxes. If you mean county the county has nothing to do with homestead exemption,  property SEV or TV. Homestead exemption has nothing to do with SEV or TV. 
My neighbors  SEV and TV were both  lowered $70,000 the following year after he was given the information to fight it. Homes are assessed by SEV value for the past year on 12-31. We pay taxes on TV.  When a home is sold the SEV and TV convert to the homes evaluation. Homestead exemption here is for a primary residence and has nothing to do with you pay for property taxes if it is your primary residence.  Only the TV on your property is what you pay property taxes on.  Many low income workers now pay much more in taxes after this congress was elected.  Seniors in our state now pay 900 million more in taxes and 270 million of that was the homestead exemption taken away from some lower income seniors but that has to do with state income tax not property taxes. Many lower income seniors that are newly retired are now  paying income tax on more of their pensions. But business now pays 1.7 billion less. I believe your state homestead exemption was for a $75,000 home. There are no houses around here with that evaluation. Vacant lots sell for that. 
As far as having a person pay more in taxes you are absolutely correct. He is a friend of the assessor who just happens to do business with him and the township. His taxes will be the same as everyone else when this tax season is over. Friends of board members do not get deals on SEV and TV. 
  |     |   2,603 posts since 2011
I have never heard of this SEV or TV.  You are correct that the homestead exemption was for a primary residence but in our former state unless it has changed since we formerly owned a home there, our home was worth more than $75,000.00  and we still got the exemption.  We are no longer in that state and no longer a home owner so if the rules have changed, I don't have a need to keep up with them.  BTW, I did mean "county" in my post but didn't bother to correct it presuming you would know it was a typo.
  |     |   53 posts since 2011
In order for this to work then all the charities the I donate to will have the additional burden of reporting my total yearly donations to IRS.  I am sure that the my church would just love doing that.

That being said, I like the concept of the IRS sending me a pre-filled tax return, it would be a nice starting point.

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