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Over 60 million Americans have taxes so simple the IRS could do them automatically

Vox: “For many Americans, doing your taxes isn’t all that complicated. It’s just data entry. The actual work of doing your taxes mostly involves rifling through various Internal Revenue Service forms you get in the mail. There are W-2s listing your wages, 1099s showing miscellaneous income like from one-off gigs, 1098s showing mortgage interest or tuition payments, etc. But here’s the thing about those forms: The IRS has them, too. For many people, the IRS has all the information it needs to calculate their taxes, send taxpayers a filled-out return, and have them sign it and send it right back to the IRS if everything looks in order. This isn’t a purely hypothetical proposal. Countries like Denmark, Belgium, Estonia, Chile, and Spain already offer such ”pre-populated returns” to their citizens. And a new paper estimates that at least 41 percent of American households — some 62 million tax filing units — could have their entire tax returns handled this way with no further intervention necessary…”

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