Christian Science Monitor: Next Year Could Be 'Taxageddon'

Friday, 20 Apr 2012 06:48 AM

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Taxpayers who've filed with the IRS can take a well-deserved breather. But if this year was hard, next year will be a confusing nightmare, as taxpayers, accountants and even the government itself will run into a thicket of confusion on expiring tax cuts in an election season.

The so-called Bush tax cuts are due to expire at the end of the year, just after November's election.

If President Barack Obama loses, the winner won't take office until late January in 2013, which would leave the administration figuring how to renew them in a retroactive fashion after they've expired.

Editor's Note: Obama’s Economic ‘Fix’ is In . . .

Of course, Obama could win but the face of Congress could change.

Plus no matter who wins the White House, some may be tempted to let the tax cuts expire in part to drum up fresh government revenue to pay down debts.

Will the White House and both parties in Congress come together and just renew the Bush tax cuts before an election? Not likely.

"That’s what’s making writing that check for taxpayers today so difficult and so painful," Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said on a call with reporters, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

"When they see the waste, fraud and abuse that happens at the GSA and other parts of government it’s just so frustrating to the American people. And it should be," Chaffetz says, referring to the spending scandal at the General Services Administration.

Others agree that taxpayers need to brace themselves.

"Tax Day is upon us – and you should enjoy it. Why? As painful as it may be to write this year’s check to Uncle Sam, it could be the smallest check you’ll write for years to come," Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue wrote in a recent OpEd, the Christian Science Monitor adds.

Internal Revenue Service officials themselves have said Congress should decide now on whether or not to extend the tax cuts.

Bickering over the issue and allowing them to lapse will confuse taxpayers and disrupt revenue flow, says IRS Commission Douglas Shulman.

"We're going to have real risk in the system" if Congress delays, Shulman told the National Press Club recently, according to Reuters.

"You could have a real disaster in the filing season where there's total confusion."

Editor's Note: Obama’s Economic ‘Fix’ is In . . .

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