Treasury Secretary Paulson with his head.....
in the sand. :)
Economy - Wednesday (Investor's Business Daily) - Treasury Sec'y Henry Paulson said steps to make up for the gap between taxes owed and payments received would be too costly. "There is a big part of the tax gap we simply won't be able to reach without adding draconian and painful requirements on all taxpayers," Paulson said. The IRS estimated the gap at $345 bil in '01, and Democrats say it must be closed. [Yahoo Tax]
According to the IRS, a large percentage of the tax gap is due to small businesses that under report income and over report expense. Most of these are honest tax payers who simply don't understand what their tax obligation and rules are.
Education seems to be something the gov't can do that need not be too costly or "draconian." The IRS is making a good effort to education people. They provide free workshops and seminars all the time. And their website has tons of good information. It must be demoralizing for those civil servants to hear their own "boss" pooh-pooh their efforts.
I see the problem of the uninformed everyday! Just today I had someone say to me "How come nobody told me about this stuff when I started my business?" Well, yes it was that person's responsibilities to understand the obligations before starting a new business, but that's not what happens everyday.
The IRS has a new Publication 4591, Small Business Federal Tax Responsibilities. This 2 page pamphlet lists online resources for the IRS, Dept of Labor, SS Admin and more. It lists over a dozen IRS publications that are helpful for new businesses. There's also a free Small Business Tax Workshop DVD, Small Business Resources Guide CD-ROM and the Small Business & Self-Employed Tax Calendar, a wall calendar with reporting requirement highlights.
According to Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, each household pays $2700 per year in extra taxes because of those who under report their taxable income. It just not fair that those of us who make an effort to meet our obligations are subsidizing those who don't or wont.
They should remember that, as Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.
You get what you pay for.