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tv   [untitled]    April 17, 2012 1:00am-1:30am EDT

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don't think you get away from that problem. but it is one of the proposals that a lot of, you know, thinkers about tax policy and economists, you know, have put on the table for the last 20 years, even longer. >> eddie writes on twitter and says that you remarked the tax code changes at least once a day. is that because of economic necessity or change for the sake of change? >> some of the provisions are maybe technical corrections, but others are very tiny, little specific provisions that address some groups' need.
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and there are just a lot of groups. >> let's hear from marjorie, democratic caller in pittsburgh. good morning, marjorie. >> caller: oh, hello. this sounds strange, but i don't think i'm paying nearly enough taxes. i receive a lot of my income for dividends, maybe 40%, and if you work the qualified dividend worksheet, you come out with a much lower tax rate, and i don't think that's fair. it's a huge loophole, and i've tried to reach different people about this, like finance committees on the house and the senate, and i don't know if this will ever come out to the fore, but it's a big revenue loss, in my opinion, and even though it may be against my better interest, i don't think it's fair for me to be paying these lower taxes. i talked to a cpa and she said, well, if the irs doesn't come
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after you if you don't take the worksheet, maybe you could use this money for charity or support different candidates and that kind of thing. so i don't know what you're thinking about this. >> well, you know, my office doesn't do tax policy, and the issue that -- we work on tax administration, how the irs treats taxpayers and how the law makes it difficult for the irs to treat taxpayers well because it's so complicated. the issue that you raise really is about should you pay a higher or lower rateon different kinds of income like dividends or capital gains versus wages. and that is definitely today, if you read the news as you read the news, very much a hot issue. so i think there will be opportunities coming forward as you're in the election year and things li[e that where people will be talking about that very issue. i would y that, you know,
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those preferential rates cause complexity in the code. you just described having to go through a worksheet, and each one of those things increases the likelihood that someone would make a mistake, either for the taxpayer or against the taxpayer. >> nina olson is the national taxpayer advocate. the taxpayer advocate service is an independent tax service in the irs that helps taxpayers. taxes are due tomorrow at midnight. yesterday was sunday, today is a holiday in the district of columbia. i have a picture here of the celebration going on. d.c. mayor, vincent gray delivering a speech yesterday. it's the 150th anniversary of d.c. emancipation day. it's not the day taxes are due. instead tomorrow. have people procrastinated more or less because they have two extra days? >> i don't think two extra days promotes pro contrakrprocrastin.
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we have a spike in the middle, people are getting their w-2's, and then spike number 2, people tend to wait until the last minute. then we have a lot of people who are having to file extensions partly because more people than ever are invested in mutual funds, in sotock accounts and things like that, and often they don't get the correct information from those brokerage houses or financial institutions until very close to the filing deadline, so to be bafe, they file an extension andn they have until october 15. sohmrd spike, i gus, r%15. >> the chsisan scige monovor srofhis week, 60% of all individ]al taxqayers hi@re soone.toddo taxes for em. 191óut of 19 tax prep ous ted by federal auditors
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posing as taxpayers in one city in 2006 made mistakes on tax returns, and 17 of them made significant mistakes. >> that was the government accountability office. they did a really interesting sort of shopping visit where they went to 19 preparers, and some of the scenarios really involved people having some cash income. and they asked the preparer whether they needed to report that income. in many cases the preparer said, no, no, you don't have to. and in one instance, the taxpayer/gao employee kept saying, don't you think i should, don't you think i should, and the preparer basically said, the irs will never know you've got it so you don't have to report it. that led to that plus some of the recommendations we made start ng 2002 led to something that recently happened, the regulation of this whole group of preparers who are not attorneys, not cpas, not
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group-enrolled agents who take a test to practice before the irs, so they're now having to register before the irs, all preparer preparers, and starting this year they'll have to take a test to prepare all returns and they'll have to have continuing education. it is amazing to me that it took that long, from about ten years, really, to get people to recognize how important it was to have some kind of licensure, if you will, because taxpayers were being very harmed, as the evidence shows. >> why don't the irs have to pay anything for businesses that are doing all of the work of collecting taxes? it's a lot of the work. >> we have a compliance rate of 83.6%. that's the best estimate that we've got. what's really driving it is the fact that businesses around the united states are withholding on
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their employees' paychecks and paying that money in to us. that is really what gets us, that high compliance rate. and i've often thought as we talk about, well, we can impose more withholding or we can do this or we can do that, that we're really putting it on the skbisz some of our proposals have been, you might want to think about giving some type of rebate to the businesses if they pay early or if they pay when you're talking about procrastinators, rather than wait until the 15th, if you pay on the 1st, a lot of states do that with sales tax. they let you deduct 1% of the sales tax due if you pay before the 15th of the month. i've been thinking about things like that to recognize the additional burden that businessesearingn order for uso gethis high rate of compliancehatave. >> what kind of freedom d haveo think about issues like that? the christian science monitor story,hich also calls you the x whisperer, looks at your
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independence and notices sometimes you raise things that congress, the white house, really don't want to talk about or think about. >> i think i've probably made everybody angry at one point or another. i think that i came into this job thinking that, you know, i had a great deal of experience with taxpayers and what i really needed to do was continue to listen to them. and i took that very seriously. my job is being their voice. now, i happen to have opinions, too, and i look at the things that i think are important after having listened to taxpayers, and i have an independent viewpoint, and i really do take that independence seriously. which meant that i've disagreed with my direct boss, the commissioner, and my next direct boss, the secretary of treasury, and the big boss, the president, and the people who have overseen and created my office, congress. it's just what comes with the job.


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