Letter to the Editor: Reconsider IRS portion of Inflation Reduction Act


Imagine if, instead of having a tax preparer who works only for you, you are given either the choice of going to the IRS or an expensive accountant or enrolled agent.

There is funding in the Inflation Reduction Act that might be earmarked for the creation and operation of an IRS-owned and -managed free tax-filing system. While this proposal is likely well-intentioned, I do not believe it would meet the desired goal of assisting the American taxpayer. This would affect many of my constituents. It could also affect the rights of others who cannot afford accountants or enrolled agents if that should arise. It is yet another time the working-class person loses choice and freedom because other people not affected by the rules think they know better. Black Americans are audited at a rate three to five times higher than taxpayers of other races. Taking away someone on their side makes the problem worse.

Before spending more money on expanding our government agencies, we should be doing everything we can to increase efficiencies within government operations as they stand today. We need to stop the flow of fentanyl into our country and fund drug treatment before we even consider funding this plan for the IRS.

Consideration should also be given to the importance of a third-party representative serving as tax preparer.

Should a proposal for an IRS-owned tax preparation system go through, many Americans could reach the conclusion that a tax return filed directly by the IRS would mean any calculation regarding a refund would more likely benefit the IRS’ interpretation of tax code — not the taxpayer’s interpretation of tax code. Conversely, professional tax preparation companies very much want to ensure taxes are done correctly, as they’d like to see those repeat customers year after year.

I am concerned my constituents will be worse off not having third-party preparers because they may assume their state and local taxes are filed. My experience as a tax preparer in the ’90s convinces me there will be significant confusion amongst taxpayers if this proposal were to pass.

Will filing directly with the IRS mean state/local taxes are also collected? Will Delawareans think their taxes are completely filed and only later learn they accrued fees and penalties because state and local taxes were not filed?

I believe knowing the answer to those questions is vital. My concern is that there will be a falloff in state filings, which will result in people who cannot afford to pay fines and penalties being stuck with them or, at the very least, missing out on money they desperately need.

I respectfully suggest that the Senate join the House of Representatives in reconsidering this portion of the Inflation Reduction Act. In a time when we need bipartisan leadership, joining across the aisle here will open the door to common ground on the big issues of our time. Please support taxpayer protection proposals by contacting our senators.

Councilman David Anderson


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