Economy Corporate Welfare - April 15th addition

Discussion in 'The War Room' started by kpt018, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    Democratic Rep. John Lewis (GA) and Republican Mike Kelly (PA), and in the Senate by Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) would like to make sure that you are shelling out $75 to upwards of a couple of hundred dollars a year to pay for tax preparation software by enacting a law that would prevent the IRS from providing free tax preparation software.

    https://www.vox.com/2019/4/9/18301943/last-minute-tax-preparation-h-r-block-turbotax

    Philosophically speaking, if government has a sophisticated tax code and filing system it would seem reasonable that the government provide assistance to it citizens in filing those returns so that they pay the appropriate level of tax and are in compliance with tax rules. For most people the software could scan your documents, gather basic information through user input and file your returns. But the tax prep industry has lobbied to make sure you pay for their services.

    Is there an argument to be made in support of this bill? Seems like blatant corporate welfare to me.
     
  2. abiG

    abiG The Last Iconoclast

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    There's an argument to be made that the 16th amendment was never properly ratified and the whole thing is a scam for what amounts to banker welfare.
     
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  3. HockeyBjj

    HockeyBjj Putting on the foil

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    Gotta love when this is the type of shit that actually gets bi partisan support
     
  4. Stoic1

    Stoic1 Patriot

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    I agree that the IRS should provide a simple online interface. You are spot on.

    But I can't click that fucking link man. FFS, dude. You know better. Cut copy paste some relevant shit because vox is on the no clicky list.
     
  5. HockeyBjj

    HockeyBjj Putting on the foil

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    Kafir-kun, no fat chicks and Stoic1 like this.
  6. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    Why is Vox on the no clicky list? Sorry man, didn't know that. Here's a relevant piece:

    Congress is set to make it illegal for the IRS to create free tax preparation software, software that could save millions of Americans from wasting their money on TurboTax, H&R Block, and other tax preparers currently profiting from the IRS’s failure to help taxpayers.

    ProPublica’s Justin Elliott reports that the Taxpayer First Act, sponsored in the House by Democratic Rep. John Lewis (GA) and Republican Mike Kelly (PA), and in the Senate by Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), would prohibit the IRS from creating an online tax preparation system that would compete with TurboTax and H&R Block.

    As Elliott explains, this provision is a long-held priority of those tax preparers, who have spent massive sums of money ($6.6 million just last year) lobbying Congress to keep taxes complicated and prevent the IRS from simplifying the process.

    The article also talks about how it returns could be automatically filed (Warren had a proposal that essentially accomplished this).
     
  7. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    Makes me sick.
     
  8. Not A Theist

    Not A Theist Green Belt

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    I don't know about the U.S. but in Canada Turbotax offers free online software which does this for people doing fairly basic taxes.

    "TurboTax Free Edition Requirements:

    1. Your annual income (AGI) must be less than $100,000* which is also the IRS’s maximum income to file using 1040EZ
    2. You must not own rental property or a home. If you want to take advantage of property-related deductions like the mortgage interest deduction or property tax deduction, you’ll need to upgrade to at least the Deluxe Edition.
    3. You must not have sold investments like stocks and bonds. If you need to report capital gains or investment losses, you are better off upgrading
    4. You can’t have a health savings account to use the Free Edition
    5. You must not have unreported tip income in the Free Edition
    6. If you work for yourself the free Edition does not have the forms that you’ll need
    7. You can’t itemize your tax deductions with the Free Edition. This includes medical expenses, charitable donations, and job-related expenses"

    https://www.mightytaxes.com/is-turbotax-free/

    Though, if that website is accurate, it seems like they might do the same thing in the U.S.

    Frankly, if private enterprise is already offering precisely this to people who are low income earners or people without especially complicated taxes (most of whom are people owning properties or who have certain types of specialized savings and whatnot) I'd rather the government spend their time and money elsewhere. This seems like the government stepping in to (largely) help people who really don't need the financial help.

    Now, the tax software companies being involved is sketchy... But at face I agree with what they're proposing. Is this a place we need the government providing a solution when it seems there already is one?
     
  9. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    I don't agree but given we have the tax code we have it just seems that if it is complicated to the point that most folks need tax prep software or hire a professional the government should provide a way that it is easier for folks to file on their own.
     
  10. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    That's really basic but even so they charge for state returns.
     
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  11. Not A Theist

    Not A Theist Green Belt

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    Fair enough. I don't really know how it works in the States. Several of my students use this here (Canada) and they swear by it.
     
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  12. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    Hmmm, looks like they've changed their model and I was wrong. Looks like they're advertising free state returns as well if your return is really basic.

    I guess they're banking on the idea that people will pay for Turbo tax later after they've gotten used to the product and now have itemized deductions, etc..
     
  13. Not A Theist

    Not A Theist Green Belt

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    Well, I'll exit with my stance I think. I think this is a good service, worth providing and I'm not opposed to the government providing it. If private enterprise is already doing so though I'd rather keep the benefits of private enterprise doing so (competition between them leading to a variety of products) without the government wasting resources to do it too.

    I assume these private companies are doing it to get people using their software when they're poor in the hopes they continue using it when their taxes are more complex and they have to pay for it. I don't really mind this as the people with those more complex taxes are generally the ones who don't need the helping hand from the government. This being the case, I'd rather see the government put these resources into any number of other areas more specifically targeting those in need.
     
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  14. HockeyBjj

    HockeyBjj Putting on the foil

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    They still charge for state returns. Oftentimes, they charge as much for state returns as buying their lowest paid for package costs which includes free state returns

    If you do the slightest thing out of the ordinary, no matter how simple, bam they cut you off and say you need a premium upgrade. I had a HSA (health savings account for high deductible Healthcare plan) and that disqualified me from even the cheapest pay option and I suddenly needed the deluxe

    I tried to deduct classroom supplies for my wife, and whopping 7 dollar increased return, and that flagged her as no longer on the free version

    Tax season pisses me the hell off with the options available and how they're all traps
     
  15. ultramanhyata

    ultramanhyata Gold Belt

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    John Lewis, civil rights hero! I'm sure MLK would be proud of his brother standing up for the poor and marginalized this way. It was always obvious to me why this sell out tried so hard to throw Bernie under the bus in 2016.
     
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  16. Headkicktoleg

    Headkicktoleg Steel Belt

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    I did turbo tax and didn't pay a dime, but mine was stupid easy this year. Literally just a w2
     
  17. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    My main point is that it should be free for most people every year (not just as a marketing tool). For someone with just a w2 it should be automatic.

    If you had a 1099 for side work or something you'd have to pay to file. The law is corporate welfare.
     
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  18. Headkicktoleg

    Headkicktoleg Steel Belt

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    Yeah I agree the tax system is a fuckdd up industry. There is the VITA program which is free tax prep, but it's very limited. You have to make under 60k and can't be much more than a w2 and 1099
     
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  19. brackis1

    brackis1 Gold Belt Platinum Member

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    Yeah Just because they like an existing product doesn't mean it should keep existing.
    Lots of people like things that don't deserve to exist.
     
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  20. kpt018

    kpt018 Gold Belt

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    I'm not saying companies like TurboTax shouldn't exist. My issue is that their lobbying efforts have basically the markets less competitive by ensuring the IRS can't provide basic tools to file returns (which imo is a reasonable thing for citizens to demand).
     
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