Return-Free Filing: Would it raise taxes?
Despite opposition from antitax groups who argue that return-free filing would limit taxpayer independence, a return-free system would not raise taxes for any taxpayer. In any case, participation would be completely voluntary. Nor would anyone need to place more trust in the government or share any more information with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) than they do now.
- Certain conservative members of Congress, along with some antitax groups such as Americans for Tax Reform and the American Conservative Union, oppose return-free filing on the grounds that it would place the burden of contesting tax payments on the individual taxpayer rather than the IRS. In a press release opposing return-free filing, Americans for Tax Reform stated that implementing such a system is dangerous because it "would create a conflict of interest where the Internal Revenue Service would become both tax preparer and enforcer." These groups further argue that return-free filing shields taxpayers from awareness of the costs of paying taxes and, consequently, is a means of implementing tax increases without taxpayers’ knowledge.
- Return-free filing should be viewed as a taxpayer tool, not a shield from information. Taxpayers could still file returns as they did before, but they would also be given the option of filing "return-free" if their taxes are simple enough to qualify. All taxpayers would retain the right to challenge their tax liability as calculated by the IRS.