Friday, September 6, 2013

Fund the IRS to reduce the deficit

This story will drive my dear Republican friends crazy because it's true:

The Internal Revenue Service’s limited, focused exams of federal tax filings—known as correspondence exams—can yield a $7 return for every dollar spent, the Government Accountability Office found in a December report. Even more complex face-to-face investigations yielded a return of $1.8 for every dollar spent.

My man David Cay Johnston mentioned similar stats in his well-researched books Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch and in his articles on tax policy. Recently, Johnston cited a report by Citizens for Tax Justice that found that, [emphasis mine]:

Every dollar invested in the IRS’s enforcement, modernization and management system reduces the federal budget deficit by $200. Here’s another metric. Every dollar the IRS “spends for audits, liens and seizing property from tax cheats” garners ten dollars back.

And as WaPo describes, Mississippi, one of our 50 "laboratories of democracy," increased its spending on tax collection at the state level and got an even better return: $23 for every dollar spent on tax collection!

So why isn't the Grand Old Tea Party demanding that the IRS and every state do the same, to shore up our deficits and restore our fiscal health? Could it be they don't really care about budget deficits at all, only lowering taxes for themselves?.... 

By Niraj Chokshi
September 5, 2013 | Washington Post

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