- 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

Introduction to Retirement Funds

Target date funds help you maintain a long term portfolio.

View Course »

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

Video: Who Qualifies for an Affordable Care Act Exemption (Obamacare)?

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. But, who qualifies for an Affordable Care Act exemption? Find out more about who qualifies for an exemption from the Affordable Care Act tax penalty, how to claim an exemption on your tax return and how the Affordable Care Act may affect your taxes with this video from TurboTax.

Video: How to Claim the Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit (Obamacare)

The Affordable Care Act Premium Tax Credit is a new refundable tax credit that can lower your monthly health insurance premiums. If you qualify for the tax credit, you can claim the Premium Tax Credit throughout the year to lower your monthly health insurance premiums, or claim the credit with your tax return to either lower your overall tax bill or increase your tax refund.

Deducting Summer Camps and Daycare with the Child and Dependent Care Credit

If you paid a daycare center, babysitter, summer camp, or other care provider to care for a qualifying child under age 13 or a disabled dependent of any age, you may qualify for a tax credit of up to up to 35 percent of qualifying expenses of $3,000 for one child or dependent, or up to $6,000 for two or more children or dependents.

What Is Schedule H: Household Employment Taxes

If you hire people to do work around your house on a regular basis, they might be considered household employees. Being an employer comes with some responsibilities for paying and reporting employment taxes, which includes filing a Schedule H with your federal tax return. But even if you have household employees, filing Schedule H is required only if the total wages you pay them is more than certain threshold amounts specified by federal tax law.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum