Letter to Representatives: End the IRS

June 10, 2013

Feel free to use or modify this in writing to your own representatives.  (Find your congressman and senators and their online contact forms.)  It’s not futile; one senator, Ted Cruz, is already on board.

“I think we ought to abolish the IRS and instead move to a simple flat tax where the average American can fill out taxes on [a] postcard,” he explained . . . . “Put down how much you earn, put down a deduction for charitable contributions, home mortgage and how much you owe. It ought to be a simple one-page postcard, and take the agents, the bureaucracy out of Washington and limit the power of government.”

Dear [Congressman            or Senator           ],

It’s time to end the IRS and replace the tax code with a simple flat income tax or flat sales tax.

I understand that congressional investigations into the IRS abuses are ongoing, and no doubt we don’t have all the facts about who knew what when or how high up the orders came from.  I’m sure it’s important to continue pursuing that and hold individuals accountable for their actions.

But for the IRS itself, we already know all we need to know.  We know that it has too much power arbitrarily to make ordinary law-abiding Americans’ lives miserable.  Even if we fire the employees responsible—even if we elect a new president—the power will remain, just waiting to be abused again.  This administration is not the first, and it won’t be the last.  Power corrupts.  So the fundamental issue isn’t the particular people in charge; it’s that we’ve given the agency such power in the first place.

I’m writing to ask you, as my representative, to do everything you can to abolish the IRS.  The current tax code is insanely complicated, so complicated that even IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman said in 2010 that he doesn’t file his own taxes.  If he can’t figure it all out, how are the rest of us supposed to manage?  What about those who are too poor to hire a professional tax specialist?

The whole current tax code should be replaced with a simple flat income tax or flat sales tax.  It’s the only fair solution.  The entire IRS should be abolished, all employees laid off, and the buildings sold off.  If we need to have a dedicated agency to collect taxes, it should be created from scratch, with radically less power—no more guilty-until-proven-innocent open-ended audit authority, no more harassment, no more intimidation.  The tax-collecting bodies in other Western nations are not feared and dreaded by their people; ours shouldn’t be, either.

Sincerely yours,
[Name]

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7 Responses to “Letter to Representatives: End the IRS”

  1. Snoodickle Says:

    Ya, a flat tax with only two deductions won’t benefit the rich at the expense of the middle class one bit. Where do I sign up Senator?

  2. Patrick K Says:

    Just to note, one could dramatically simplify the tax code (and especially the process of filing taxes) without moving to a flat tax at the same time, which is a move that I would imagine nearly everyone could support.

    I was shocked the first time I did my taxes in Japan– it wasn’t a post card, but it was one piece of A4 paper, front side only. If you have dependents you have to fill out the back side as well. It took me about 10 minutes to complete.


    • Fair point. If that’s what we can all unite on, then we should at least do that; I agree, it would be an enormous improvement.

      I take it Japan has a graduated or “progressive” income tax (like ours) but not all the deductions and other complex rules we have?

      • Patrick K Says:

        Yes, there is a progressive income tax but if you are a salaried employee the deductions are basically limited to your dependents. If you run your own business, you have a more complicated return, but if you work for someone else, the burden is on the company to do the calculations. I think this is not such a bad approach, since companies big enough to employ at least several people will have an accountant anyway, and it’s a lot easier to punish companies that cheat on taxes rather than to go after individuals.


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