Congressman Mark Sanford (R-SC) has introduced a bill H.R. 6098, the “Transparent Recognition of Unjustified Tax Hoarding in Government Act of 2016,” (Truth in Government Act).  This bill would stop taxpayers from acting as a free loan to the IRS. As it stands, the IRS utilizes a system of withholding in which taxpayers dollars are taken out of paychecks. Three out of four taxpayers end up getting their withheld dollars back, an average of almost $3,000.  But, this money that is used as an interest free loan to the government could better be spent by Americans for personal decisions, such as paying for college or earning interest at the bank. ATR President Grover Norquist wrote a letter in support of this bill and agrees that it is time we restore government transparency and allow Americans to take control over their finances. See the letter of support here or below. 


October 4, 2016

The Honorable Mark Sanford
U.S. House of Representatives
2201 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Sanford:

I write in support of H.R. 6098, the “Transparent Recognition of Unjustified Tax Hoarding in Government Act of 2016,” (TRUTH in Government Act). This legislation replaces the system of mandatory federal tax withholding with the active payment of taxes each quarter. All members of Congress should support and co-sponsor this legislation.

The current system of withholding masks the payment of taxes, and many taxpayers end up inadvertently giving the IRS a free loan by paying too much through withholding. Close to three in four tax returns – more than 100 million taxpayers – receive a refund every year, and the average refund is close to $3,000. This means that close to $300 billion is loaned to the IRS every year only to be returned to taxpayers as a lump sum.

This is money that taxpayers overpaid to the IRS and could have been better spent to earn interest at a bank, pay down debt, fund a retirement plan, save for college education, or spent on a vacation. Instead, it is kept by the IRS for months. Ending the system of mandatory tax withholding will mean money is no longer automatically taken out of a taxpayer’s paycheck and will give American’s more control over their finances.

The current system of tax withholding gives the IRS billions of taxpayer dollars as an interest-free loan – money that could better be spent by American families. The TRUTH in Government Act replaces a system that conceals the true process of paying taxes with a system that gives taxpayers more transparency over their income, to better ensure they do not pay too much. All members of Congress should support the TRUTH in Government Act.


Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform