Robot Returns?

April 22nd, 2013 by Joe Kristan
The next generation of tax preparer?

The next generation of tax preparer?

A bill is floating around in Congress to have the IRS automatically fill out many tax forms.  Robert D. Flach has details, which include a website where you would download a 1040 already filled in; you’d print it and sign it.

A lot of folks hate the idea.  I’m sceptical, as I believe the IRS is far from having the data processing abilty to make it work without an enormous error rate.  I can imagine the IRS cracking down on taxpayers who claimed and spent erroneously-generated auto refunds, while poor widows would sign off on excessive taxes year after year and then have no recourse after the statute of limitations runs.  Robert has this to say:

It would be helpful if a taxpayer,  or tax preparer, could access the details of what the IRS has received from payers and payees issuing information returns.  But as a reference and not as a pre-prepared return option.

That would actually make sense.