TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
taxes_IRSbuildingwashdc_ak980.jpg
A photo of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C.; I've often wondered - why can't the IRS just send me a bill? (MyNorthwest.com Photo/Alyssa Kleven)

Just tell me what I owe

I still do my own taxes. I used to order the long form instruction book, and fill out the paper forms by hand.

But as the forms have gotten more complicated, and grown to ten, 20, sometimes 30 pages - I understand completely how Mitt Romney felt.

And I've often wondered - why can't the IRS just send me a bill?

The power company sends a bill, and I have no clue how they figure it out, but I pay. None of us understands how doctors or cell phone companies come up with all those fees - but we pay them - so why not taxes?

Well, according to ProPublica.org, which researched the story with NPR, the IRS was prepared to do what Denmark, Sweden, and Spain do - and just send you a return already filled out, so you could sign off on it and be done in five minutes.

But the idea has been blocked by a lobbying group that includes - and this will shock you - Intuit - the firm that sells Turbo Tax. Which sells tax software to about 25 million Americans and earns about $1.5 billion.

I suppose you could argue that letting the IRS prepare your tax bill is un-manly. That a real man deducts every ratty undershirt in the giveaway box. But there comes a time when you realize that you can't outsmart the IRS. When that last deduction just isn't worth trying to understand an unrecaptured section 1250 gain. So come on Intuit - let it go. Let us just pay and be done with it.

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • Live: Seahawks Chat
    Join 710 ESPN Seattle for a live chat during the Seahawks-Cardinals game

  • Week in Photos
    Cheetahs, penguins and Santa make it in this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.