There are some of us that are willing to dig deep to get a greater refund as we prepare our federal tax return. The one-time credit relating to a federal telephone excise tax is an example. An article in late January describes how individuals are willing to do great amounts of legwork to get a higher refund. For me I was willing to take the standardized credit instead of pulling phone bills for the past ten years and adding them up to see if I could achieve a higher refund for past payments of the federal excise phone tax.
Needless to say, time is valued differently for each of us. Some might assume that the government added all of the past federal telephone excise tax, estimated the number of returns to be filed and then set the value for each number of exemptions. For myself I would assume that the government estimated the value per exemption based on a price that would create a higher demand for taxpayers to take the standard credit and not do the legwork that would reveal the higher refund that they could achieve, meanwhile still having the greatest amount of surplus for government as possible. The government may seem greedy, but one may also say I am not greedy enough!