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

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Event Registration is Closed
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Event Registration is Closed
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.