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Geithner Calls for Greater ‘Taxpayer Accountability’ « The Washington Independent

From the Department of Irony:

Just more than a week after the news broke that Tim Geithner, President Obama’s pick to head the Treasury, “mistakenly” failed to pay about $34,000 in payroll taxes this decade, Geithner is calling for more accountability from taxpayers.

In a written response to questions posed by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who chairs the Finance Committee, Geithner had this to say about reining in offshore tax cheats:

If confirmed, I will treat offshore tax evasion as a high priority issue and examine a wide range of policy options to address these abuses, including increasing IRS enforcement efforts, requiring greater disclosure and taxpayer accountability, and changing the presumption for transactions in tax-secrecy jurisdictions.

In another question, Baucus asks about the tax gap — the difference between taxes owed and taxes paid to the government, which is estimated to be $345 billion (an 84 percent compliance rate). “Do I have your commitment,” Baucus asks, “that you will work to achieve 90 percent voluntary compliance within 10 years?”

Geithner responds:

I will work to improve the level of voluntary compliance and believe that, with adequate support from Congress, we can achieve 90 percent voluntary compliance within the next decade. The President is committed to implementing an effective program to close the tax gap and the Administration looks forward to working with you on this effort.

It appears he hopes to prevent folks like himself from evading their obligations.

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