Listened to Who Profits When You File Your Taxes? from On the Media | WNYC Studios

The bipartisan effort to help the tax preparation industry, and why it matters to you.

Tax Day is behind us, but the Taxpayer First Act is not. The bipartisan proposal passed the House last week and is now under consideration in the Senate — and one of the provisions is exactly what the for-profit tax preparation industry has been pushing for. 

Through an agreement with the IRS, companies like H&R Block and Intuit currently offer free tax filing services to taxpayers making less than $66,000 dollars a year. But only 1.6 percent of taxpayers actually use Free File, and critics say that the companies engage in aggressive up-selling through the portal. A provision in the Taxpayer First Act would bar the IRS from developing their own free system. 

Dennis Ventry is a tax scholar at the University of California, Davis. He has written about the shortcomings of the Free File program, and explains to Bob why he thinks the IRS isn't doing enough to protect taxpayers who try to use it. He wrote an opinion piece last year titled "Free File providers scam taxpayers; Congress shouldn't be fooled" — which made him the target of a public records request from an industry group. 

👓 Books of the year: economics | Economist Espresso

Bookmarked Books of the year: economics (Economist Espresso)
Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. By Eric Posner and E. Glen Weyl. Princeton University Press; 368 pages
Do the rich world’s problems stem from an overdose of liberal principles, or their insufficiently bold application? Glen Weyl and Eric Posner argue that the ideals of thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Henry George can still inspire radical change. Such luminaries were unafraid of challenging the status quo. Following suit, the pair suggest expanding and refining markets, putting them to work for society as a whole. Property may not be theft, for example, but it is monopoly. Every individual should put a value on each item she owns, down to the last pencil, and be taxed on her total declared wealth. The twist: she must stand ready to sell any item at its declared value, should a buyer emerge. Such policies are so radical that they are unlikely ever to be adopted. But they may help jolt liberals out of their hand-wringing.
This is certainly an intriguing way of doing taxes. Reminiscent of the way that claiming races are done in horse racing.

📺 “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” Corporate Taxes | HBO

Watched "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" Corporate Taxes from HBO
Directed by Paul Pennolino. With David Kaye, John Oliver. John Oliver talks about the Corporate Taxes. He gives examples of how big corporation always tries to evade taxes. They are using the loop holes in American tax system. He also expressed his doubts about the promises were made by the new tax plan. He used the unfruitful past experience of tax holiday to support his claim.