Friday, April 15, 2005

Yet another reason to SIMPLIFY THE TAX CODE

People scurrying to meet tonight's tax deadline might consider this: It's taking you and your fellow Americans 6.6 billion hours to do all that paperwork. The basic tax return - the Form 1040 filed by most people every year - accounts for 1.6 billion hours.

The Internal Revenue Service furnished those statistics to the White House budget office, which keeps tabs on the government's bureaucratic demands. The budget office notes that tax work "towers over the entire paperwork burden for the rest of the federal government" and accounts for some 80 percent.

"If anything, those numbers are probably understated," said David Keating, president of the National Taxpayers Union, which reports annually on the increasing complexity and demands of tax returns.

"A lot more of the cost is just planning to do the tax-smart thing. That can actually take a lot more time than reporting what you've done," he said.

So at least it isn't a hassle. If only Steve Forbes' flat tax postcard came in the mail this year instead. Hell a guy can dream.