Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hold On To Your Paycheck!

Or the IRS might, if they follow the lead of the tax collection agency for the UK:
The UK's tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.

The proposal by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.

Currently employers withhold tax and pay the government, providing information at the end of the year, a system know as Pay as You Earn (PAYE). There is no option for those employees to refuse withholding and individually file a tax return at the end of the year.

Impossible, you say? Withholding tax from your paycheck was probably considered impossible at one time, too, until it was implemented in WWII (Scroll down for the relevant section.) and now it's an innocuous part of working life. Taking your entire paycheck and doling out what the government considers yours may not be far behind. The United Kingdom could lead the way.

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