IRS bounces on checks

Article Highlights

  • How did the #IRS fail to use modern payment technology that benefits taxpayers? @AlexBrill_DC

    Tweet This

  • Low participation in #IRS debit card program suggests failure of government in setting up pilot

    Tweet This

  • Details bounce #IRS debit card program aimed to help lower/mid income families

    Tweet This

The IRS issued 119 million tax refunds worth $358 billion to individual tax filers last year; of those, 45 million refunds, totaling $166 billion, were issued by check. Moving that magnitude of money to that many households is no easy task. To lower the administrative cost for the government and the taxpayer, the Treasury Department operated a pilot program last year that distributed tax refunds to low- and middle-income taxpayers through prepaid debit cards hailed as convenient, safe, and cost-efficient.

Many expected the program to be a big hit, especially because it followed other government programs’ success in phasing out payments by check in favor of direct deposits or debit cards.

But Treasury’s initial enthusiasm about the pilot program did not translate into participation—of the 600,000 taxpayers given the option of receiving their tax refund on a prepaid card, only 2,000 chose to do so. Now, Treasury has suspended the program.

Read the full story on American.com

Alex Brill is a research fellow at AEI

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Alex
Brill

What's new on AEI

Expanding opportunity in America
image Moving beyond fear: Addressing the threat of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria
image Foreign policy is not a 'CSI' episode
image The Air Force’s vital role
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Monday, July 21, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Closing the gaps in health outcomes: Alternative paths forward

Please join us for a broader exploration of targeted interventions that provide real promise for reducing health disparities, limiting or delaying the onset of chronic health conditions, and improving the performance of the US health care system.

Monday, July 21, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Comprehending comprehensive universities

Join us for a panel discussion that seeks to comprehend the comprehensives and to determine the role these schools play in the nation’s college completion agenda.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 | 8:50 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Who governs the Internet? A conversation on securing the multistakeholder process

Please join AEI’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy for a conference to address key steps we can take, as members of the global community, to maintain a free Internet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Expanding opportunity in America: A conversation with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan

Please join us as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveils a new set of policy reforms aimed at reducing poverty and increasing upward mobility throughout America.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, July 24, 2014 | 6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Is it time to end the Export-Import Bank?

We welcome you to join us at AEI as POLITICO’s Ben White moderates a lively debate between Tim Carney, one of the bank’s fiercest critics, and Tony Fratto, one of the agency’s staunchest defenders.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.