Collect What is Owed
About the Problem
The tax gap - the difference between taxes owed under the current code and those actually paid - has been growing for decades and is currently estimated to be around $400 billion.
Confusion about our large and unwieldy tax code makes the IRS easier to evade – both honestly and dishonestly. A complicated tax code makes payment and collection more difficult, allowing for a gap between taxes due and collected.
The IRS is unable to adequately address the gap. We need a separate body to focus on recovering lost money, so the IRS can focus on its job of collecting taxes from 124 million households and six million companies. This process is necessary because misfiling has become massive: in 2001 (the last time the IRS calculated), about 15% of taxpayers didn’t comply with the code.
About the Policy
Increase enforcement of current tax laws to close the $400 billion annual gap between legally owed taxes and taxes paid. Appoint a special inspector general — essentially a “collections czar” — who will report to Congress quarterly on the collection of all monies owed to the federal government with the goal of reducing errors in payments, fraud, and securing all lawful tax and other payments.
Though we will never eliminate all errors in the tax system, any progress in reducing the size of the tax gap will bring in a portion of the $400 billion the IRS fails annually to collect.
Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%
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