Last week, the National Taxpayer Advocate – an IRS office charged with sticking up for the interests of taxpayers – released its 2012 Annual report to Congress. It told us what you and I, and everyone who pays taxes already knows: our tax code doesn’t make any sense.
Here are some disturbing facts from the report:
- More than 6.1 billion hours are spent by individuals and businesses completing tax filings every year.
- Taxpayers forked over $168 billion to comply with the tax code and about nine out of ten American taxpayers rely on paid professionals or commercial software to prepare their taxes.
- More than one new tax provision gets added to the code every day on average.
- The tax code is nearly 4 million words long.
This level of complexity, and the high cost that results from dealing with it, is unacceptable. Our country needs fundamental tax reform.
It’s almost that time of year again when we’ll have to wade through old documents, collect new documents, fill out complex documents and send it all to the IRS for processing that is nearly impossible to understand.
I hope that this miserable process will inspire some political will to do something about this problem and implement some of the reforms suggested by the Taxpayer Advocate and others. Tax reform is a priority of Republicans in Congress, and it’s expected that we will consider legislation fairly soon. I hope the President and the Senate will work with us on a real solution.
A simplified tax code wouldn’t just save us money – it would make us money. It would make doing business easier, and cause our country to be more competitive on the global level. A more competitive business environment will lead to more jobs and economic growth. I’ll keep you updated on efforts to reform the tax code.
The next three months will be a very important period in Congress. Our nation will hit its borrowing limit, big arbitrary defense cuts are scheduled to hit and funding for the federal government will expire during this time.
I will be in touch throughout, and as always, I love hearing from you. Feel free to get in touch with my office with your thoughts, or if there is any way my office can be of assistance.
Member of Congress