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White House Panel Urged To Back Ready-Made Tax Returns

Publication Date: 
October 16, 2009
Source: 
NASDAQ.com
Author: 
Martin Vaughan

Professor Joseph Bankman, who proposed ReadyReturn, is quoted in this article on simplifying tax returns as part of a larger national tax reform program:

Advisers to President Obama on how to simplify the U.S. tax code were urged Friday to make tax filing easier by having the Internal Revenue Service send taxpayers a ready-made form that they only need to sign and return.

The proposal, put forward by Stanford Law School professor Joseph Bankman, is similar to a plan Obama touted during his campaign. Bankman told the tax subcommittee of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board that such a system could save taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

Credit-card company "Visa doesn't send you a blank piece of paper every month and say, 'write down all your transactions and finance charges and, if you're wrong, there's interest and penalties'," Bankman argued to the panel. Neither should the federal government force taxpayers to provide information it already has, Bankman argued.

As an alternative, Bankman said, the government could also simplify tax filing by bringing taxpayer information together in a database that could be accessed by tax preparers. That could remove an obstacle for some of having to compile W- 2, 1099 forms and other records to hand over to the preparer.