Hopefully a matter of when, not if, for U.S. taxpayers
Many developed countries now offer taxpayers a return containing all information collected by the taxing authority — to “get the ball rolling by telling you what it knows,” Mr. Bankman says.
It’s a stunningly reasonable idea. When you prepare your return, why can’t you first download whatever data the Internal Revenue Service has received about you and, if your return is simple, learn what the I.R.S.’s calculation of your taxes would be? You’d have the chance to check whether the information was accurate, correct it as needed and add any pertinent details — that you’re newly married, for example, or have a new child — before sending it. Far better to discover problems early with the I.R.S., whose say matters more than third-party software’s best guess.