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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings 423

Posted by timothy
from the rent-seeking-right-on-the-surface dept.
McGruber (1417641) writes "Return-free filing might allow tens of millions of Americans to file their taxes for free and in minutes. Under proposals authored by several federal lawmakers, it would be voluntary, using information the government already receives from banks and employers and that taxpayers could adjust. The concept has been endorsed by Presidents Obama and Reagan and is already a reality in some parts of Europe. Sounds great, except to Intuit, maker of Turbotax: last year, Intuit spent more than $2.6 million on lobbying, some of it to lobby on four bills related to the issue, federal lobbying records show."
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Intuit, Maker of Turbotax, Lobbies Against Simplified Tax Filings

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:09PM (#46758447)

    How will they survive if we make taxes simpler! Just like all those ditch diggers if we gave them shovels instead of spoons.

    • I think Clancy noted something like this in one of his novels? Something about how politically incorrect it would be in accountant and tax lawyer families to even try to simplify the US tax code?
      • by compro01 (777531) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:46PM (#46758921)

        Yes. Was one of the Ryan-as-president ones. Probably Executive Orders. I believe the Warren Buffet expy he appoints as SecTreas uses the tax code to break a table to convince Congress that the tax code needs simplification. It includes some monologuing about cutting capital gains taxes to encourage investment (something that sounds obvious, but is generally unsupported by evidence).

        • Sure, it's unsupported by evidence, but it's been widely supported by both parties in congress. The number of actual national electors left enough to believe capital gains maybe ought to face progressive taxation(for all the reasons progressive tax brackets are usually a good idea) is in the single digits.

        • by alexander_686 (957440) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:14PM (#46759269)

          What studies are you referring too? Everything I have seen has suggested lower taxes on capital leads to move investments.

          I will admit that doing studies like these are hard. You have to factor the difference between high vs. low taxation states, how taxes are raised (income vs. consumption vs. investments)that the country has to be publicly committed for the long term (i.e. 10+ years), and how capital is taxed (capital gains, wealth tax, dividend income, etc.)

  • Not even much money (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcronen (325664) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:11PM (#46758471) Homepage

    It's downright embarrassing how little money it even takes to buy the government. Intuit makes a couple billion dollars a year [intuit.com]. The lobbying spend, $2.6 million, is about eight hours' worth of revenues.

    • by jythie (914043)
      It is less about the amount and more about the bidding war. You can buy legislation cheap if there is not much spending in opposition.
    • by litehacksaur111 (2895607) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:30PM (#46758741)
      Yeah, but making taxes difficult to do also creates animosity towards the IRS which directly helps the talking points of the right.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Yeah, but making taxes difficult to do also creates animosity towards the IRS which directly helps the talking points of the right.

        And god forbid they actually lose talking points by actually accomplishing something they've said they'd like to do.

        Nosiree, if we don't change anything, we can keep bitching about it and we can blame the other guys. And, we can keep getting paid by the lobbyists to maintain the status quo.

        Because, really, politicians are douchebags just looking to line their own pockets. Some

        • by lonOtter (3587393)

          and think we should start off with the premise they're crooked and on the take and force them to live under much more careful scrutiny.

          You should be doing that already. I know I do. Every society that doesn't is in danger, but with all the ways the government is infringing upon our fundamental liberties and the constitution, we've obviously not been careful.

        • It's about power (Score:4, Informative)

          by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:02PM (#46759113)

          And god forbid they actually lose talking points by actually accomplishing something they've said they'd like to do.

          What they want to do is stay in power. They'll change some things if they get the chance but that's a second order effect. What they really want to do is whatever will keep them in power and they will sell their soul to do it. They'll say whatever they think gives them the best chance to retain power and get re-elected but what they actually do is what shows you their real goals.

    • by Bill Dimm (463823) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:05PM (#46759155) Homepage

      To be fair, that's billions in revenue, not profit, so I wouldn't say they "make" a couple billion per year. In fact, the source you linked to shows that their operating income is negative, so after subtracting expenses from that revenue they are losing money. So, they don't have a few billion in spare cash sloshing around -- that $2.6 million is not a negligible amount of money for them. The fact that they still think it is worth spending on lobbying when they don't have a lot of spare money is perhaps an even stronger statement about how effective lobbying dollars are.

    • Maybe I've naive, but I really don't think lobbying is just about buying votes.

      That is to say, I don't think the government has a perfectly reasonably policy, like simplified tax returns.

      Then Intuit comes along and says 'This is gonna hurt our profits', so lets pay politician X some money to stop this bill.

      More than likely, lobbying is backed by 'real needs'
      Let's face it, there are a lot of people employed as accountants and I guess nowadays, a fair amount of software developers and business. These are real

      • by Obfuscant (592200) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:31PM (#46759473)

        Let's face it, there are a lot of people employed as accountants and I guess nowadays, a fair amount of software developers and business.

        The people who this simplified "let the government figure it out and send back what they think I deserve" plan wouldn't apply to the vast majority of people who use accountants or probably even most of those who use TurboTax. They're using an accountant because they want every penny back that they deserve. Yes, I said deserve -- the legal amount.

        There are already several free tax filing systems. TaxACT Online [taxact.com], H&R Block [hrblock.com], The IRS [irs.gov], and even TurboTAX [turbotax.com], the very company that is being slammed for allegedly standing in the way of free tax filing. If you are a die-hard, you can download [irs.gov] the forms and send them in for the price of a stamp or two (my state forms, seven pages of paper, cost $0.70 to mail.)

      • by Duhavid (677874)

        It's not about buying votes, it's about buying legislation.

        I don't doubt that companies that lobby for things feel a very real sense of needing what they are lobbying for.
        I also don't doubt that there are times when 3rd parties are served or even well served by the outcomes of such lobbying.

        But these things ought not be decided based on who has money and who doesn't.

        I am all for impacts being analyzed and plans being made to make sure people are not unduly disrupted, but decisions should be made on merit.

        We

  • by shellster_dude (1261444) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:14PM (#46758509)
    On the one hand, filing Return-free filing would be a nice option...on the other, I like that people have to take the time to notice how much money Uncle Sam is taking.
    • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:5, Insightful)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:17PM (#46758567) Journal

      On the one hand, filing Return-free filing would be a nice option...on the other, I like that people have to take the time to notice how much money Uncle Sam is taking.

      Most of them only look at how much they're getting back, which is the majority of people. If you really wanted it to sink in, you'd need to end paycheck income tax withholding and actually have them write a check on April 15.

      • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jlv (5619) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:22PM (#46758641) Homepage

        It amazes me that people *still* give the government interest free loans. Getting money back via your tax return is bad. I strive to owe the government the maximum amount I can each year without penalty.

        • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Talderas (1212466) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:34PM (#46758783)

          I strive towards $0 but that's mostly because I'm not confident in my own ability to invest the money for growth.

        • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:5, Interesting)

          by danbert8 (1024253) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:35PM (#46758805)

          In some cases, it can pay off. I ended up getting around ~$800 back from the feds this year and through a deal on Amazon, I got 10% bonus by getting the refund back in Amazon gift credit. That's a free 80 bucks, well better than any tiny interest rate I could have gotten in a savings account. When the interest rate you can get is higher than the rate of inflation, you might have a point...

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Lumpy (12016)

            Better than any market investments as well. 10% is a phenomenal rate of return right now.

            • by blueg3 (192743)

              10% wasn't better than the market last year. (It is, however, a very solid rate of return.)

        • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:40PM (#46758863)

          While that sounds nice in theory but for most people it doesn't make any different. For example say you get back $2,000 from your tax return. If you intend on saving you could keep in your weekly check that money and put it in an interest barring account and come out ahead. but when your saving account is paying 0.1% interest you are making less then $2 by doing so. $2 a year for most people isn't even worth time time to figure out the proper withholding. And don't tell me about the stock market or similar where i am putting my money at risk. so until interest rates go to a sane level its just not worth it.

          • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:5, Insightful)

            by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @04:36PM (#46760721) Journal

            While that sounds nice in theory but for most people it doesn't make any different. For example say you get back $2,000 from your tax return. If you intend on saving you could keep in your weekly check that money and put it in an interest barring account and come out ahead. but when your saving account is paying 0.1% interest you are making less then $2 by doing so. $2 a year for most people isn't even worth time time to figure out the proper withholding. And don't tell me about the stock market or similar where i am putting my money at risk. so until interest rates go to a sane level its just not worth it.

            Unless of course you're one of the unwashed masses that has an abundance of credit card debt [nerdwallet.com]. Using that extra money to pay off your debts more quickly can give you a great return, at least in the sense that you'd LOSE less money.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by EvanED (569694)

          It amazes me that people *still* give the government interest free loans. Getting money back via your tax return is bad. I strive to owe the government the maximum amount I can each year without penalty.

          This is what I said yesterday [slashdot.org] about this:

          Here are a couple reasons why I don't worry too much about this:

          1) Especially right now, that money wouldn't earn much elsewhere, especially if you put it into a safe investment. If you just keep it in a bank account, for most people it's probably barely worth it. (Th

        • I strive to owe the government the maximum amount I can each year without penalty.

          They penalize you if you want to owe them more? I don't really see how that is affected by paycheck deductions? Also, you must be the first person I have met with that attitude. [/sarcasm]

          Seriously though, lets say you make good money and ended up paying $15,000 in federal taxes. What interest rate could you get on that? Quick check at wellsfargo.com says you can get a whopping .01%. If you have over $25,000 in an account you can get a massive .05%. Linked checking account gets you to .1%!

          So if

          • Meanwhile if everyone did this....

            • Meanwhile if everyone did this....

              The government would miss out on less than $2 billion of the over $2 trillion they collect. Drop in the bucket.

              A much bigger loss would be all the people that have holes in their pocket and are unable to pay come 4/15.

        • by RKThoadan (89437)

          Just a note: Depending on how well your employer games the system you may be loaning it to your employer more than you are to the government. Your employer "withholds" it when it pays you, but it's not cutting a check to the govt for that withheld portion immediately. Smaller employers may even get away with just paying the withholding taxes on their annual corporate taxes. I know my state govt is way more insistent about getting it's tax withholding promptly than the fed is.

    • by Mullen (14656)

      It would not be hard to make it clear to people how much "The Man" is taking.

      For example, this is what the IRS might send you:

      You make: $X
      Your deductions: $Y
      Your Tax: $Z
      Percentage Paid: %R

      For the vast majority of the people in the US, the IRS knows everything it needs to know about you to do your taxes. There is no reason why a voluntary system like this would not work.

      • It would not be hard to make it clear to people how much "The Man" is taking.

        You'd think so but I'm an accountant and I do our company payroll. You would be *amazed* at how seldom many people look at their paycheck, particularly if it is direct deposit. I get asked all the time how much vacation people have left even though it is printed right on our paystubs every two weeks.

        That said, I'd have no problem in principle with some sort of reasonable (yeah I know...) automatic payment system. The devil is in the details and to do it you can't have too many special tax exemptions. (o

        • by Sarten-X (1102295)

          The devil is in the details and to do it you can't...

          Well, that pretty much sums up the issue right there. On the face of things, it seems straightforward.... everybody pays whatever the government thinks they owe.

          On the other hand, there's so many ways the government can screw things up royally. One year, they missed an education deduction I had because they didn't know I'd gone to grad school that year. They hadn't accepted the paperwork the school had sent in. The proper resolution was for me to write and sign a letter affirming that I had done what I'd cl

          • The whole point of those deductions is (ostensibly) to make taxes more fair, ...

            Ha, ha. No. The whole point of deductions is to buy sway with voters. In fact the whole point of the US tax code is NOT to help collect taxes. It is to give a way goodies to the proper special interest groups.

            If the government wanted more 'fair' taxes, they could simply adjust tax rates higher or lower based solely on income. Why should I subsidize your decision to go to grad school?

      • Why reinvent the wheel? If you opt-into this system, the IRS could autogenerate a filled-in PDF copy of the form you select (they already have the PDFs available, and they're editable) and ask "Is this correct?" If it is, you click yes. If you're due a refund, you enter your account information (to have it directly deposited) or indicate you want it mailed to you. If you owe, you enter your account information or you indicate you'll send in a check, at which point you get a form to print with all the releva

      • For example, this is what the IRS might send you:

        Why would they want to do that??

        Your ignorance is useful to the people handling taxes - if you knew just how much you were sending to Washington in taxes, you might just start objecting to the whole thing...

        And then where would they be?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DarkOx (621550)

      Right, what we should do is get rid of withholding and make EVERYONE pay quarterly estimated taxes. I suspect we would very suddenly have TEA party ( or similar ) membership right around 53% of the adult population.

      • Re:Lobbying aside (Score:5, Insightful)

        by iluvcapra (782887) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:09PM (#46759221)

        No, you'd just have a bunch of big banks getting into tax financing, offering modest loans at reasonable interest rates(see fine print) to help people who didn't save for their bill.

        The withholding system works because it causes the least economic distortion -- the more a tax "hurts," the more adverse an effect it has on day-to-day economic decisions, the more it's liable to cause people to make bad economic decisions, like saving huge lump sums in the bank instead of investing or consumption. A tax "hurting" might be good politics (for some people), but if it causes people to have irregular cash flow or makes it significantly harder for them to make planning decisions it will hurt economic growth.

  • by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:25PM (#46758677) Homepage Journal
    but only to outsource technical and engineering jobs. Heaven forbid if we automate away accountants and bureaucracy. THEN technology is taking jobs away!
    • but only to outsource technical and engineering jobs. Heaven forbid if we automate away accountants and bureaucracy. THEN technology is taking jobs away!

      I actually happen to be both an accountant and an engineer and actively practice both in my day job. I would LOVE to automate a lot of the paperwork shuffling I do as an accountant. Want to make a fortune? Come up with an EDI type system that doesn't cost an arm and leg and allows businesses to exchange invoices, delivery information, order acknowledgements, etc automatically between businesses of any size and that integrates with existing accounting systems. Start with Quickbooks and Sage. I probably

  • I once read that a third of all tax credit dollars earmarked for the poor go to H&R Block. This must be where another third goes. This is no different from the record companies fighting tooth and nail to prevent their old business model from dying. It's no surprise that it's happening - it's sad that it's working.
  • by stkris (1843186) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:30PM (#46758735)
    Here in Norway we have had this system for ten or more years. Super easy for most with just paychecks and a mortage. Highly recommended! And if you want or need you can still do it the old fashion way. Also highly recommended is checking your yearly totals agains the simplified report. Computers occasionally make a mess.
  • Depends... They're saying that poor people wouldn't get deductions and tax credits if they did this...

    So... that's a credible point.

    That said, if poor people did this then the form itself might get reformed enough to account for that without the complexity... perhaps by lowering the fucking taxes.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      Depends... They're saying that poor people wouldn't get deductions and tax credits if they did this...

      So... that's a credible point.

      That said, if poor people did this then the form itself might get reformed enough to account for that without the complexity... perhaps by lowering the fucking taxes.

      Most poor people don't have enough deductions to itemize them, so the deductions are a red herring. Tax credits could be an issue, but it doesn't sound insurmountable. In addition, poor people don't use Turbo Tax, so why is Intuit even bringing it up?

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Most middle class dont have enough deductions to itemize them.

        Tax credits can be automated easily. Intuit is just being whiny babies trying to protect the whoring of the poor they do every year.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:34PM (#46758781) Homepage

    I can pay my taxes for free with a check mailed in, or pay $30-$90 to pay it electronically through a "clearing house" and Intuit also get's a cut.

    got to Hell Intuit. Go straight to hell.

  • I've hated Intuit for years. They are bottom feeders.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:37PM (#46758833) Homepage Journal

    a story I heard on NPR not too long ago. The head of the Government Printing Office was talking about how their headcount was less than half what it was 20 years ago due to heavier use of digital forms. She mentioned how few copies of the federal budget they print every year and so on.

    All of this sounds great because she's helping to keep costs down while increasing the availability of government documents to he masses. Who would think that's a bad thing?

    The paper industry. They had the head of an umbrella group for the paper and forestry groups who cautioned about moving too fast to go digital, how some people still liked paper forms and so on.

    So the next time you hear someone say the government doesn't create jobs, ask them why private industry is up in arms every time the government tries to cut costs by not purchasing things. In this case, the literal tons of paper that used to be used to print government documents or, as in the case of Intuit, all the work they would no longer have to do if the tax filings were simplified.

    • Government jobs (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:55PM (#46759037)

      So the next time you hear someone say the government doesn't create jobs

      The government absolutely creates jobs. Lots of them. The government is something like 20-30% of the economy and a similar portion of the jobs. This is true for most of the governments on earth and it's actually not a bad thing. Remember that government jobs include things like the military, police, fire, teachers and the like which are all necessary and useful functions. Some amount of administration is useful too. Many important and necessary private businesses make their money contracting for necessary services to governments. Governments definitely create jobs and many of them are even worth creating.

      The problem is that the government doesn't generally have a good way to prune back services that are no longer required and doesn't tend to be exposed to market forces forcing it to be efficient. It also means that those who are doing well with the status quo will try to keep it, even when that doesn't make economic sense.

      • Re:Government jobs (Score:4, Insightful)

        by smooth wombat (796938) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:16PM (#46759299) Homepage Journal

        You're missing the point. You will routinely hear from the right side of the political spectrum (and private industry) people claiming the government doesn't create jobs, it only takes from the masses.

        In their next breath they whine and complain whenever the government cuts back, such as with the Printing Office or elimination of military projects (the Abrams tank comes to mind) because it will cost jobs, completely ignoring the only reason theses folks in private industry have a job is because of the government.

        I only bring this up because I like to throw things back in people's faces when they make blanket statements such as this, just like all government workers are lazy or how private industry always does things better than the government.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @01:42PM (#46758875)

    This is just one more thing Intuit does to hurt taxpayers. The biggest and craziest is that where you can e-file your federal return for around $5, most states charge $20, because Intuit sued them for unfair competition when states came out with online 2D barcoded returns. Intuit wasn't upset if a taxpayer filled out a regular PDF and mailed it in, but evidently since the 2D bar coded ones saved states revenue and they encouraged them, they felt it cut into their profits and sued. Evidently the courts agreed and now, you must pay extra to e-file a state return so Intuit can get their cut, even though you aren't using their software.

    If people were smart, they would use one of the alternatives to Turbo-Tax, e-file their federal return and mail in their state return. That way, Intuit doesn't get a dime of unearned money.

    • by hondo77 (324058)
      Um, I e-filed my girlfriend's parents' returns for California for free for the last two years. Federal was free both years, too.
    • by ZiakII (829432)
      If you are in NJ you can do your own state taxes easily through their website [state.nj.us] for free. Did it on both TurboTax and NJ and they equaled the exact amounts.
  • It's shit like this why I don't think corporations should have "free speech". Humans have free speech, corporations are not humans and should not have the same bloody rights.

    For instance [reuters.com]:

    A U.S. appeals court on Monday struck down parts of a regulation that forces public companies to disclose if their products contain "conflict minerals" from a war-torn part of Africa, saying it violates free speech rights.

    Because when corporate money is equated with free speech, they can afford to have their speech heard m

    • Whatever court decision decided that corporations are people too was garbage.

      That would primarily be the Citizens United v FEC court decision of 2010, and further backed up by the recent McCutcheon decision of 2014, though of course other little laws and regulations contribute.

      If you would like to do something about it, I would encourage you to join a group such as the WolfPAC [wolf-pac.com] and Move to Amend [movetoamend.org]. A couple state legislatures (California and Vermont, I believe) have *already* passed bills calling for a constitutional convention to propose a new constitutional amendment that puts into l

  • 2015 Tax Form

    Line 1 Enter the amount of money you grossed last year....____
    Line 2 Divide the amount in line 1 by 10 and write it here... ____

    Send in the amount written in line 2

    • by imikem (767509)

      Don't forget to make the check payable to mumble...[my-name]...mumble, and address [convenient-country-with-no-US-extradition-treaty].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And if you happen to be a poor person, too bad for you.

    • The problem with your tax form is that actually calculating the amount of income you had last year is actually pretty complicated for a pretty big portion of the population, particularly the wealthier folks. Seriously. 90% of the tax code not devoted to various tax exemptions is basically devoted to defining income. Why? Because it is not trivial or easy. There are countless corner cases and sources of income and financial instruments and other things to complicate what you income is. We could simplif

      • " a pretty big portion of the population, particularly the wealthier folks. "

        Wealthy people are not a large portion of the population.

    • That's better than the one I saw:

      Line 1: How much did you make last year? ______
      Line 2: Send it in.

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."
      H. L. Mencken

  • I've spouted it a hundred times, here's #101:

    Intuit's QuickBooks package is in desperate need of competition. It's thoroughly entrenched in the accounting industry such that the interface is nonsensically-antiquated. Yet, it's become one of those industry standards that Intuit refuses to modernize it or introduce any kind of improvements for fear it will alienate the armies of accountants that have been compelled to learn it.

    If google were to launch a cloud-based bookkeeping app, this would be a tremendous benefit to small business owners worldwide.
  • This will happen time and again. If not Intuit, it will be industry X buying government on issue Y because it benefits them.

    You can blame Intuit all you want, but that's like blaming sand for flowing downhill. Legal lobbying for your best self-interest is what we all do.

    The real problem is not Intuit, but it's the Government. It should not be "buyable." Its purpose was to provide national security and law and order, that's all. The more functions and power it takes on, the more the lobbying goes up..

    Think i

  • And when the IRS inevitably discovers they messed up on the "return-free" return they generated for you five years ago, who is liable for the resulting penalties and interest? Because I'm betting it's not going to be the IRS.

  • by HighOrbit (631451) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @02:32PM (#46759491)
    Well just another instance of Big Government and regulations equating to rent seeking & crony capitalism.
    1. - Create Condition - convoluted tax code
    2. - Fix condition you created with Government money- Federal paid assistance to file taxes
    3. - Claim you're helping the little guy
    4. - Profit!

    Here is another example - Food Stamps (aka SNAP) and Agriculture policy. You might think food stamps exist to help the poor, but you'd be wrong. Food stamps are part of the AGRICULTURE spending bill, not the health and human services bill. The idea is to stimulate buying of "surplus" agricultural produce by subsidizing poor people who can't aford to buy it. But the dirty secret is that the agrculture policy of price supports both stimulates over-production for some crops and under-production for others while keeping prices high and making food LESS affordable for the poor. With food stamps the agribusinness interests can now sell the 'surplus' created by the price supports (government money) at artificially high prices to the poor (with government money), all the while with the political overhead cover of helping "family-farmers" and the "hungry children".

    1. - Create Condition - Pay yourself Government money to artifically inflate prices (agricultural subsidy)
    2. - Fix condition you created with Government money - Funnel yourself even more Government money by subsidizing purchase of your artificially high priced goods (food stamps)
    3. - Claim you're helping the little guy
    4. - Profit!
  • by Z00L00K (682162) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @03:24PM (#46760027) Homepage

    I can file my taxes in two minutes on the Swedish version of the IRS on the web without the need of any special software unless you count a web browser as special.

    • Yeah, pretty much the same here. You logon to their secure web portal, and fill all the forms online. For most people, everything is pre-filled, and you just have to OK it, which can even be done via SMS. Personally I have a more complicated setup involving income and accounts abroad + special tax exemptions, but even then I spend much less time than the Americans I know.

      The fact that the taxes also include health insurance is also nice...

      By the way, is it true that the US will tax a citizen living abroad b

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        No reason this couldn't happen in the US but for this lobbying. The IRS already knows all your income/etc, and if you fill out the forms wrong they'll send you a letter telling you to fix it.

  • Proposal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aryk (3617565) on Tuesday April 15, 2014 @03:29PM (#46760087)
    I propose we put Tax day right before Election day. That would make for some interesting changes.

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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