With the Superbowl on the horizon can tax season be far off? Lately the retail tax-preparation giant H&R Block has been running an ad campaign called Get Your Billion Back in which they illustrate in various ways what a billion dollars looks like. The amount refers to unclaimed tax credits; according to Block, one billion dollars in tax credits go unclaimed each year, hence the campaign title.
As I’ve mentioned before, I find this most irksome. Two people with exactly the same conditions – income, expenses, deductions, etc. – should pay exactly the same tax. One’s tax bill should be determined by tax rates, not the skills of one’s tax preparer. The government wants us to be open and honest when it comes to declaring our taxable income. Fine; but that should work both ways. How about a little openness when it comes to credits and deductions?
By making personal income tax filing simple, with no loopholes or tricks, a level playing field if you will, there would be no fodder for ads such as Block’s.