- Days left
Rest easy, this isn't one of those stupid April Fool's Day posts that many bloggers seem fond of today. It's an issue brought up by TaxGirl. I'm not the only one who thinks the government is wasting a lot of our tax money on this "economic stimulus" plan.

I have theoretical objections to sending out $300 and $600 checks to people, even if they don't pay a dime in federal income taxes. But what irks me even more is the amount of money that the IRS is spending on "getting the word out" about the checks. At this point, if you're too stupid to know that you have to file a tax return in order to get a check, you don't deserve one. Every media outlet has been beating this topic to death, telling everyone that even if you don't owe taxes, you must file a tax return to get a check. (There's really not anything confusing about that, is there?)

Yet the IRS spent $42 million of our hard earned money on sending out letters that say you might get a check. They spent our money on a stupid YouTube video to tell you that you might get a check. When all is said and done, the IRS will have spent $200 million just to publicize the program and process our checks.

What does $200 million get you? Seventy-four Super Bowl commercials, according to TaxGirl. That's a ton of money to spend on such a program. Some of us might suggest it just makes more sense to quit taxing us so much in the first place. But this feeble attempt at income redistribution (giving checks to those who don't deserve them because they haven't paid income taxes in the first place) is merely a feel-good tactic during an election year. I predict it will have little real impact on our economy.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How Financial Planners go Grocery Shopping

Learn to shop smart and save.

View Course »

Economics 101

Intro to economics. But fun.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What Are the Tax Penalties for Smokers?

Starting in 2014, the Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act made you responsible for having minimum essential coverage, or MEC, in health insurance. Otherwise, you need to be eligible for a health care exemption, or you could pay a penalty when filing your income tax return. This requirement for minimum essential coverage applies to smokers and nonsmokers alike. If you're not covered by an employer's health plan and are a smoker, you can go to the health care marketplace to find MEC. If you're still unable to comply, you may have a penalty applied.

A Brief History of Income Taxes

Did you know President Abraham Lincoln, one of America's most beloved leaders, also instituted one of its least liked obligations - the income tax? In this brief history of taxes, see the historical events which shaped income taxes in the United States today.

How to Itemize Taxes When Claiming Dependents

Claiming dependents and itemizing deductions is an effective way to save money on your income taxes. Each dependent you claim allows you to reduce your taxable income by one exemption. Get a step-by-step overview on how to take advantage of itemizing your taxes when claiming dependents in this article on tax tips.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum