March 5, 2007

BANKING ON BUREAUCRATIC EFFICIENCY?:

Democrats' Revenue Plans Might Mean Turning Taxman Into `Beast' (Ryan J. Donmoyer, March 5, 2007, Bloomberg)

Congressional Democrats' vision of billions of unpaid tax dollars, just waiting to be collected, may prove to be a mirage. [...]

The reason, say tax experts, is that doing so would require thousands of new Internal Revenue Service agents as well as stricter filing rules, more stringent audits, tighter scrutiny of small businesses and other politically unpopular steps that Paulson says would penalize ``honorable and honest'' taxpayers.

``Turning the `tax gap' into the pot of gold requires turning the IRS into a beast,'' says Pamela Olson, a former assistant Treasury secretary for tax policy under President George W. Bush. ``They might be able to do it, but they won't like the result.''

The Democrats are avoiding ``a fundamental review of tax policy,'' adds Michael Murphy, who was the Internal Revenue Service's top civil-service official from 1987 to 1992 and is now a consultant for the law firm Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan LLP in Washington.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 5, 2007 12:00 AM
Comments

Give me an effing break! Strict filing, stringent audits and tighter scrutiny will ". . .penalize honest and honorable taxpayers." The present system is an integrity tax, and almost everyone who can cheat, does cheat.

This is almost as ridiculous as the IRS's perennial claim of 90+% "voluntary compliance,"

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 5, 2007 12:20 PM
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