Consider two equally important questions:
Do you have enough money to provide for the basic needs of yourself and your family? And, who more deserves your assets and what you earn: you or government?
In part one I discussed the joy across the land if, on Christmas morning, the announcement had been made that “there would no longer be a federal income tax.” Of course, you knew when you read “A Christmas Story… for Overtaxed Citizens” that it was – unfortunately - a fantasy. Yet, if – like almost all who participated in the related POLL - you agree that the IRS is too large and too expensive to operate; or, you are intrigued with the idea of shrinking or eliminating the IRS, read on.
What follows is an outline list of ingredients necessary to “Shrink; Then Shutter the IRS”.
All that need be added to the recipe is citizen resolve to immediately begin cutting the size and scope of the IRS, streamline operations, stop agency encroachments, and ultimately, shutter the bureaucracy.
IRS staff cuts must be carried out, expeditiously.
During the first 30 days, staff reduction requirements can be achieved via three special exit programs - based on descending seniority - in the eligibility order noted:
1. One-time incentive offers into regular retirement;
2. Buyout offers into early retirement; or,
3. One-time payouts to voluntarily resign.
Each IRS employee accepting one of these opportunities must agree to terms that they are not eligible for unemployment payments or rehire/hire into any level of government or quasi-public authority – therefore focusing future employment on private-sector only. This prevents ‘double-dipping’ on the taxpayer’s dime. If required staff reductions are not met during the first 30 days, on day 31 involuntary redeployments to other prioritized federal departments – such as the U.S. Border Patrol – must be implemented based on ascending seniority.
Individuals refusing redeployment are deemed voluntary resignations with final separation payments, but are ineligible for unemployment benefits from any level of government.
Within two months, process simplification can be accelerated and IRS work flows streamlined.
Such implementations, including other examples noted below, will significantly cut agency operating costs interim to shuttering the IRS in 2012.
How to mix the recipe ingredients, that is, carry-out other necessary changes?
PRINCIPLES x PERSISTANCE
In keeping with the recent season, three modern wise men – Deming, Shingo, and Drucker - give us the benefit of their quality counsel.
As quoted, here are three of the recipe ‘commandments’ to guide the changes needed in order to rid the IRS of waste, fraud, and abuse - as well as political hanky-panky used against opponents:
“A bad system will beat (up) a good person every time.”
“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize.”
“Nothing is so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
FORMS REDUCTION AND SIMPLIFICATION
The number of IRS forms must be reduced to a ‘core few’.
And, each of the new forms must be simple, streamlined and modernized to cut IRS operating costs as well as significantly reduce the burdens too long imposed on citizens including hardcopy data collection, backup records retention, and the time required to complete and file returns.
Remember the old joke about how the IRS would simplify tax forms if they had their way?
In the joke - the IRS version of a simplified filing form would have just two lines:
1. What was your income?
2. Send it ALL in to us!
If your recollection brings a momentary smile that turns into a frown … it could be because, at times, it seems that’s where tax burden is headed. So, what to do?
Here is a description of ‘A New, Simplified IRS Form 1040’ for your consideration:
Admittedly, it has 9 lines - not 2; but, to get there the joke would be on you… and all of us.
In order, the 9 lines on the new Postcard-size Form 1040:
1. Total gross income
2. Number of Family Members
3. Deduction for Family Members
4. Other Deductions
5. Total All Deductions (Line 3 + 4)
6. Adjusted Gross Income (Line 1 – 5)
7. Total Tax Due on AGI
8. Net Tax Due OR Refund Due
9. Routing/Account Numbers (Electronic Transfer Payment or Refund)
In the header: Name; Social Security; and EIN (Employer Identification Number). The EIN is included to identify the employer code for typical employment as well as those unincorporated small business owners who may have employees or 1099 contract workers. Those claiming business expenses would complete a new simplified ‘Schedule C’. For joint filers, a second column would be provided. This new Postcard 1040 Form recaps all essential tax data for almost all taxpayers.
Interestingly, while citizens could initiate filing the new simplified forms online, or complete hardcopy blanks for postal mailing; alternatively, citizens could demand that the IRS mail hardcopy versions of all appropriate forms with data pre-filled based on information the IRS collects from employers, financial institutions, etc.
Yes, that simple new requirement that the IRS send forms to taxpayers with data pre-filled would give taxpayers the awareness of just what information and data the IRS already has in its databases about each American.
Again, IRS forms simplification is essential because, at present, the IRS tax code is purposely too complex and cumbersome.
Historically, both the tax code - and the IRS - has been used by government insiders, and so-called progressives, as a powerful fiscal policy tool to control consumers’ behavior and take assets. Politicians sell it as “stimulating the economy” while in actuality they are redistributing assets at the costs of real economic growth and loss of individual freedom.
In part three, I will provide information confirming that the tax problem has been known to be insidious, and how some have tried to alert the people.
Here’s a preview quote from a former federal official – whose position might surprise you: "People are kidding themselves. They don't have the buying power they used to have… and…”
So, be sure to return to this site every day.
For now - Here is this week’s poll question: Should IRS Form 1040 be Simplified and Streamlined?
Richard Olivastro is president of Olivastro Communications; a professional member of the National Speakers Association; and, founder of Citizens For Change (www.CFC.us). He can be reached via email: RichOlivastro@gmail.com; telephone: 877.RichSpeaks.