Elizabeth Warren and Turbotax (Newsweek -TurboTax Under Pressure Over Tax Breaks)

I don't like politicians at the national level. I don't mean I don't like one certain party or I dislike most of them. I mean, I don't care for them individually, or as a whole.  I just want to get that out of the way. This article, the one mentioned in the title, is a perfect example why.  Recently, Elizabeth Warren, and others in congress have been questioning how Intuit (Turbotax's parent company) spent 94 million dollars the US government gave them to help low income people pay their taxes. Warren is also accusing Turbotax of being the reason the tax code is so convoluted. Her thinking on this is that Turbotax is lobbying Congress to keep the tax code too detailed for the average person to be able to complete without help from a tax software service.

(I am jumping on Warren here, but, I am using her because she is the loudest about it. If it helps, when I say Warren, just assume I mean Congress.)

My best bet on this to keep from rambling on for 10,000 words is to bullet point my thoughts:

1. Warren is somehow upset at Intuit that her organization (Congress) created an 80,000 page tax code that is so convoluted that it requires a need for a software company to create a system so that the average person can file...just so we could give our money to the IRS. 

2. Warren is also upset at Intuit because she and Congress can be bought off. How about they stop taking money from corporations instead of blaming them for giving them money.

3. Warren is upset at Intuit for not spending free money the way she wants.  If you give a private company money, they are going to use to make money for themselves in some manner. That is what for-profit companies do. I use Turbotax, when I started, it was about 20 bucks. Even today, with discounts, it is only about 60 dollars to file, and it is that much only because I use the Self-Employed version. My question on this is, who was complaining about spending this money on doing their taxes?  I don't like spending 60 dollars, but, it does not affect me enough that I want Congress to give the company I use 100 million dollars. 

4. If it is really that big of an issue to Elizabeth Warren, why not simplify the tax code to one page? It could be done by next year, if they really wanted. I get that it would cause some pain.  You would have to let the  mortgage interest deduction sunset over the next 30 years for people that just bought houses and the housing market would take a hit.  You would have to adjust for the child tax credit for people, as well.  But, here is the deal, we know what people pay in taxes. We have 300 million examples every year to go off of. Just make a tax rate based on that information and deduct it from our paychecks. It could be adjusted for every paycheck, if you got a bonus one month, your rate would be higher.  There would only be a need for a slight refund or payment at the end of the year if your pay varied quite a bit that year. And, for the low income people, we know currently, no one making less than about 25,000 pays taxes. If you are married with kids, this is more like 40,000. Pretty easy to make the tax rate start paying at 25,000 per person. Since the code is now simplified, there is no longer joint filing, just individual, and look, I Just took care of the child tax credit by giving a couple 10,000 tax free.

5. Warren is scolding a private company for not doing her job good enough. A company, by the way, that people are happily giving their money to because of how bad Elizabeth Warren, and the IRS, is at their job. Also, a company that Warren was happily giving our money to because she is a failure. 

6. In what is one of the biggest instances of a lack of self-awareness, Warren complains that the IRS could have used the money that Congress gave Intuit to create their own tax software. YOU JUST GAVE THE IRS 80 BILLION EXTRA DOLLARS. While the IRS is supposedly working on this type of software themselves, Intuit pointed out, "Most Americans don't want the tax collector and enforcer to also serve as the tax preparer."  I concur. I said this is one of the biggest instances of a lack of self-awareness, because I think Warren hits on the biggest later in the story when she says, "The American public deserves answers—not more deception—about how you are spending their hard-earned dollars" Really, she gave a private company that was doing fine on its on, 100 million dollars and she thinks the American people are concerned with how Intuit is spending money.  Warren, and Congress, has borrowed 30 trillion dollars in the American people's name and she thinks we care what Inuit is doing? At the current interest rate on a 30 year plan, every kid born in the US part in repaying this debt is 688 dollars a month. 

7. Finally, the reason we need Turbotax and the reason the tax code is a joke, is not because of private software firms. It is the way it is, because every person in Congress that wants to get re-elected or get a large donation, hands out tax breaks like candy on Halloween. And let me say one last thing, there is no need for any special tax break, just don't tax people as much.  Don't pretend to do us a favor by returning our money to us.

And, that is the end of my rant.


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