The Inspector General of the IRS released a report this week that examined the state of the agency’s Volunteer Tax Preparers (VTP) program. The program exists to provide free tax preparation services to low income citizens. However, the findings of the audit show that this program might be doing more harm than good.
Of the VTP-prepared returns that were analyzed, nearly half of them were filed incorrectly. This latest instance of incompetence at the IRS represents another example of why the agency should not be trusted with preparing tax returns. This may seem insignificant, but for the fact that many prominent figures in the Democratic Party, such as former Obama administration advisor Austan Goolsbee, have been calling for the creation of a “Return Free Filing” program, which would allow the IRS to prepare taxes.
This massive expansion of the size, scope, and responsibilities of a federal government agency would be a terrible idea. Aside from this latest report highlighting incompetence in the IRS’s VTP program, one need look no further than the debacle that has been the rollout of the so-called “Affordable Care Act” (otherwise known as Obamacare) for a clear display of the government’s ineptitude.
In a recent column for Reuters, ATR’s Grover Norquist & Patrick Gleason, why giving the IRS the authority to prepare taxes is a bad idea:
Having the IRS serve in the dual roles of tax collector and tax preparer presents an inherent conflict of interest. The main function of the IRS is to collect taxes, as much as possible. […] To put the government entity responsible for maximizing tax collections in charge of preparing returns would result in a clear conflict of interest — one that would work to the disadvantage of ordinary taxpayers.
With the disastrous Obamacare rollout and this latest TIGTA report, do we really want the IRS, which has been busy making Star Trek videos and stifling the first amendment rights of the President’s political opponents for that last several years, to have the responsibility and authority to prepare tax returns? Click here to read the aforementioned Reuters column in its entirety, which explains why the answer to that question is a resounding NO.