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Accounting News Roundup: Return-free Filing; Scary Student Loan Stats; Don’t Let Divorce Knock Your Career Off Track | 04.15.15

Would You Let the I.R.S. Prepare Your Taxes? [NYT]
Even if you would, Intuit doesn't want you to: "In the last five years, according to disclosure documents, Intuit spent nearly $13 million on federal lobbying. That is about the same amount that companies many times its size have spent on lobbying. Apple, which has an annual income about 40 times that of Intuit, also spent about $13 million on lobbying in the same period. While documents show that Intuit lobbies on several issues, including immigration, cybersecurity and intellectual property law, the company’s largest lobbying contracts all involve the issue of tax administration."

Intuit Statement on Tax Policy [NYT]
David Williams, Intuit's Chief Tax Officer, responds to the questions raised by Farhad Manjoo in the above article: "Return-free filing minimizes the taxpayers’ voice and control over the tax process by reducing their role in filing their taxes and getting their own money back. Instead, these systems place government at the center of the tax process. This makes the government both the preparer and collector of taxes, as well as investigator and enforcer. Those processes would rely only on information collected by the government, and would be dependent on the government collecting substantially more data about every individual than it possesses today."

These Tax Collectors Say Few Understand Their Passion [WSJ]
Jeff Scroggin has an interesting hobby: "The 63-year-old Mr. Scroggin has amassed some 100,000 relics of America’s taxpaying history, a trove whose treasures include Civil War-era tax forms, yellowing tax manuals, Internal Revenue Service badges brandished by investigators, 'wanted' posters for tax criminals, tax-themed art, tax tokens, tax board games, tax stamps and more."

The Student-Loan Problem Is Even Worse Than Official Figures Indicate [RTE/WSJ]
Nearly one in three — 31.5% — of people with student loan debt are at least one month behind on their payments.

Divorce Doesn’t Have to Derail Your Career [HBR]
The authors identify three benefits: 1) space and time to yourself; 2) a different threshold for risk; 3) breaking old patterns.

One Company’s New Minimum Wage: $70,000 a Year [NYT]
Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, is cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using a large portion of the companies profits, to implement the plan over 3 years.

SpaceX is about to send astronauts their very own coffee shop [TDD]
They've been waiting decades for this.