ReadyReturn

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ReadyReturn is a tax preparation program initiated by the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) as a pilot in 2005, in which 50,000 California taxpayers received a tax return that had already been completed for them based on financial information reported to the FTB by employers and banks.[1] The purpose of ReadyReturn is to make it easier for taxpayers to file their returns, and to make the filing process more accurate and faster.[2]

In the pilot, taxpayers were allowed to file the return as given to them, to modify and then file it, or to ignore it and file however they normally would. Of the 50,000 participants in the pilot, 38,500 chose to ignore the return, and approximately 11,500 filed it.[3] A survey of pilot participants found more than 90 per cent said they saved time using ReadyReturn, and that it was more convenient than the system they had used previously. More than 97% said they would use it again the next year.[4] 0.3% of ReadyReturn filings contained errors, versus 3.1% of non-ReadyReturn filings.[5]

Between 2001 and 2010, Intuit Inc., maker of the tax-preparation software TurboTax, spent more than $1.7 million in an attempt to kill ReadyReturn.[6][7] The California legislature allowed the ReadyReturn program to expire, but the FTB revived it for the 2007 tax year, expanding it to cover one million Californians. It continues to be in use today.[8]

In 2012, more than 80,000 California taxpayers used the system. Ninety-eight percent of users who filled out a survey said they would use it again. The state's tax agency said that returns filed with that system were cheaper to process than paper returns.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Small, Julie (13 April 2010). "California's ReadyReturn reduces taxpayer angst for a small number". KPCC. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Mikesell, John L. (2010). Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for the Public Sector, Eight Edition. Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth. p. 366. ISBN 0-495-79582-8. 
  3. ^ Mikesell, John L. (2010). Fiscal Administration: Analysis and Applications for the Public Sector, Eight Edition. Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth. p. 366. ISBN 0-495-79582-8. 
  4. ^ Furman, Jason, Jason E. Bordoff (2008). Path to prosperity: Hamilton Project ideas on income security, education and taxes. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press. p. 300. ISBN 0-8157-3013-6. 
  5. ^ University of New South Wales Australian Taxation Studies Program (2010). International Tax Administration: Building Bridges. Sydney, Australia: CCH Australia Ltd. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-921701-29-0. 
  6. ^ Sidlow, Edward I., Beth Henschen, Larry N. Gerston, Terry Christensen (2011). GOVT, California Edition. Boston, Massachusetts: Wadsworth Publishing. p. 431. ISBN 1-111-34307-1. 
  7. ^ Ventry, Dennis J. (21 July 2010). "Intuit's end-run". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Graetz, Michael J. (2010). 100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Simple, Fair, and Competitive Tax Plan for the United States. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. p. 49. ISBN 0-300-16457-2. 
  9. ^ Liz Day (March 26, 2013). "How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing". Mother Jones. 

External links[edit]