Emily Cauble: Time for a Tax Return Filing Fee (2021)

Emily Cauble, of DePaul University College of Law, has made available for download her article, “Time for a Tax Return Filing Fee”, published in the Harvard Journal on Legislation, forthcoming. The abstract is as follows:

The IRS faces the monumental task of verifying, to the extent possible, the items reported on the hundreds of millions of tax returns filed each year. It does so with meager and shrinking resources. Some taxpayers burden the filing sys- tem more than others. At one extreme, a taxpayer who earns only income that is subject to third-party reporting and withholding and who claims the standard deduction adds very little to the IRS’s burden. At the other end of the extreme, a large business engaged in numerous complex transactions demands significant resources if that taxpayer’s claimed tax outcomes are fully examined. In light of this landscape, this Article makes the novel proposal that Congress require pay- ment of a tax return filing fee by some taxpayers. The amount of the fee would vary based on some of the factors that make each taxpayer more or less difficult to audit, with carveouts for difficult-to-audit items that are disproportionately claimed by lower-income individuals.

The goals of the proposal are three: first, to make the system fairer; second, to raise additional revenue; and third, to improve efficiency by encouraging tax- payers to take into account the costs imposed on the tax administration system by their complex transactions.

To see the full article, click: “Time for a Tax Return Filing Fee”

Posted by Anthony Tran, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal

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