A way to make taxes less taxing

Tax form with pencil pointing to "Amount you owe"


Bill Radke: Taxes may be inevitable, but filling out a 1040 every year? Maybe that can be avoided. A group of tax experts is out today with a set of recommendations for President Obama's tax reform commission. One idea could make April 15 a lot less stressful. Markeplace's John Dimsdale reports.

John Dimsdale: How about having the IRS figure out your taxes and send you a form that needs little more than your signature?

Bill Gale at the Tax Policy Center says the government already knows your wages, your mortgage interest, your stock dividends . . .

Bill Gale: With all that information, they can calculate a lot of things, like your eligibility for certain subsidies or deductions. And it's those side calculations that are often the most difficult for tax filers.

Gale says getting those complicated forms already filled out would not only save taxpayers time and energy, he thinks Americans would be more willing to pay their fair share of taxes if they didn't have to work their way through complex instructions.

The Tax Analysts Group is also recommending shifting the tax burden from what we earn to what we spend. The president's Economic Recovery Board has been asked to issue a comprehensive set of reform recommendations by the end of the year.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


I agree to American Public Media's Terms and Conditions.
With Generous Support From...