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News Posted on April 21, 2017

Professor Ventry Comments for Vice on Return-Free Tax Filing

Professor Dennis Ventry commented for Vice on return-free filing, a system in which the government supplies taxpayers with pre-populated returns using information collected from banks, employers, and other sources.  Such a system is already in place in 36 countries, but implementation in the United States has been successfully opposed by companies that sell tax preparation software, the article reports.

Some critics of return-free filing have argued that the government has an inherent conflict of interest in serving as both tax preparer the tax collector and would be likely to ignore potential deductions and other information that could benefit taxpayers, but Ventry dismissed that idea as “total baloney.”

Ventry said that under return-free filing, the government "is just giving you all the tax information they have about you based on information you provided last year, that employers and others provided, and plugging it into your tax form. It's transparency of the best kind."

Professor Ventry is an expert in tax policy and legal ethics. His research interests include tax expenditure analysis, family taxation, professional responsibility and standards of care, tax filing and administration, tax compliance, public finance, and tax and legal history. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the IRS Advisory Council, and co-author on the casebook, Federal Income Taxation with Martin McMahon, Jr., Daniel L. Simmons, and Bradley T. Borden.