Congress shouldn’t let the IRS play both the role of tax collector and preparer

In 2010, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said of Obamacare: “We need to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it. And what did we find? Higher health care costs and less choice and coverage options.

Now we end up with Democrats’ control over Congress and the White House, and they want to put in place new government controls, influence and interference on everything from child care to the car you buy.

Look no further than the Democrats’ $ 5,000 billion tax and spending bill, which was passed by the United States House of Representatives but is currently blocked in the United States Senate. The 2,100-page bill is chock-full of billions in new government spending and giveaways to the rich, as well as new taxes that would hurt middle-class families – which Democrats want to enact before more Americans find out about it. they are preparing.

Among the lesser-known provisions included in the legislation is a section that kicks off the process for the IRS to create a government-run tax preparation system – a long-standing priority of Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The Tax and Expenditure Bill, which creates more than 150 new government programs through historic borrowing and tax increases, relies on a supercharged IRS to help make its command and control agenda a reality. So it should come as no surprise to middle-class taxpayers that the purpose of asking the IRS to file their taxes for them is not to cut red tape or simplify tax filing. It’s about arming the IRS more to go after hard-working Americans because Democrats want to use your paycheck even more to fund their socialist priorities.

If this idea becomes reality, Americans could – simply by using IRS tax preparation services – unknowingly open up to an IRS investigation and turn over all of their personal financial information to an agency. having a troubling history of abuse of authority. Creating a government-owned and operated tax preparation system means the IRS can track every keystroke and store taxpayer personal data. Forgot a zero or need to go back and change something while preparing your taxes? Hello IRS audit. A lag from one year to the next? The IRS could come knocking on your door. It’s as simple as that.

For the IRS, having a prominent place in an individual’s income tax return process from start to finish is an obvious conflict of interest. How can an agency whose goal is to maximize the money it can withdraw from the American people also ensure that Americans only pay what they owe? The short answer is, he can’t.

Americans already don’t trust the IRS to look after their best interests. When taxpayers were asked, “Who would you trust more to make sure you don’t pay more than you owe in taxes?” A Center-Forward poll found that only 17% would trust the IRS. Likewise, when asked, “Who would you trust more to make sure you get the maximum possible refund of your taxes?” That number fell to 11%.

The IRS is anything but a “safe place” for your personal information. Tested, the IRS has repeatedly abused the trust of its main client, the American people, for the benefit of its boss, the federal government. This year alone, an IRS employee leaked the income tax returns of thousands of Americans for political purposes. Under this provision, the IRS would have even more information about individuals. Who can say they won’t do it again?

• Representative Jason Smith is an American businessman and United States Representative for the 8th Congressional District of Missouri, in office since 2013. He is the Republican leader of the House Budget Committee.

Esther L. Steinbach