Letter to the Editor: Tax filing could be made a lot easier


Tax return season is a time of anxiety and frustration for many, I recall from the years when my husband served as a certified public accountant and an enrolled agent for the IRS.

And this all reminds me of the anxiety, stress and hard work involved in gathering information for tax returns and the frustration of trying to get needed answers, so as to prepare tax returns correctly within a complex tax system.

So, going forward, it seems clear to me that a fair, easier and more efficient tax system and tax preparation procedure are much needed.

Instead, I am hearing about a possibly well-intentioned, but actually more problematic, proposal, i.e., moving the current Free File system over to the IRS.

While understanding that this current system does need improvement, I am deeply concerned about the very agency that collects and audits taxes becoming the agency that files taxes, to me a clear conflict of interest.

And would this lead to more lack of transparency, more frustration about phones not answered — or answered by someone who just does not know the answer to our question — and more worry about whether or not the very complicated tax law was appropriately interpreted? All this by an already overburdened IRS.

I would personally like to see a “lightening of the load” for honest taxpayers, who are already under stress about properly fulfilling their citizen duty to pay just taxes for just reasons and who need a better tax system and prompt, courteous and informed customer service.

One “start” could be fixing the current Free File system, instead of moving it over to the IRS, while, at the same time, working to make the tax system and tax filing for all Americans easier and more efficient, with excellent customer service for anxious and stressed taxpayers fulfilling their citizen duty.

Karen R. Smiga


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