Americans spend hours and hours preparing their taxes. We shouldn’t have to.
Some have cited the tax code’s complexity as part of the reason for their opposition to pre-filled tax returns. “The impact of greater taxpayer disengagement from their own personal finances is not an inconsequential consideration as a matter of national economic policy,” Paul Weinstein Jr. of the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist Democratic think tank, wrote last year. But some arguments against IRS-prepared returns are more of a stretch, such as when former senator Bob Kerrey wrapped himself in the mantle of “financial literacy” to pan the idea. “Calculating how much we owe in taxes is an unpleasant activity, but it is also central to understanding our personal financial situation and planning our financial futures,” he wrote in 2013.