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Happy tax day, suckers

Not funny ha ha but funny sad:

So let me get this straight: Lawmakers continue to insist on a Byzantine, gordian mess of a tax code that requires us to spend billions annually on tax advice and preparation.

Yet if you call the IRS and ask for advice, not only are you unlikely to get a reply, if you do, there’s a good chance the advice you get will be wrong, and following it could still get you prosecuted?

Happy fun tax fact:

People scurrying to meet Friday’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.

And, here’s a round up of happy fun tax facts past:

Bribes and kickbacks to governmental officials are deductible unless the individual has been convicted of making the bribe or has entered a plea of not guilty or nolo contendre.

In 1999, taxpayers contacted the IRS for assistance approximately 117 million times.

The Internal Revenue Code consists of approximately 1,395,000 words.

There are 693 sections of the Internal Revenue Code that are applicable to individual taxpayers, 1,501 sections applicable to businesses, and 445 sections applicable to tax-exempt organizations, employee plans, and governments.

As of June 2000, the Treasury Department had issued almost 20,000 pages of regulations containing over 8 million words.

In 2000, there were 129,373,500 returns filed. Of which, 96,817,603 were taxable and 32,555,897 were not.

In 2002 individuals, businesses and non-profits will spend an estimated 5.8 billion hours complying with the federal income tax code (henceforth called “compliance costs”), with an estimated compliance cost of over $194 billion

As of 1998, 32% of individual federal income taxes are needed in order to pay the interest on the national debt.

It is estimated that total income tax receipts in 2003 will be $1,211,843,000,000.

The instructions for filing the Easy Tax Form are 32 pages

At least it’s also buy a gun day. Nothing bought yet, still haven’t decided what I want.

Update: Ravenwood reflects on what he pays for.

More: Foxtrot weighs in.

The Entrepreneurial Mind has more too. Via Bill.

7 Responses to “Happy tax day, suckers”

  1. North Georgia Dogma » IT’S HERE!!! Says:

    […] ing to get… Kim du Toit posted his BAG Day acquisition, and it’s a beauty. Say Uncle is like me and hasn’t decided yet. None of my other gunnie […]

  2. tgirsch Says:

    Lawmakers continue to insist on a Byzantine, gordian mess of a tax code …

    At the end of the day, it’s not really the lawmakers who insist on this, it’s the individual taxpayers. Oh, sure, they’re all for tax simplification, but only if you don’t take away my deductions:

    The poll finds 70 percent think the tax system is too complicated. However, only 45 percent of respondents say they would favor getting rid of some deductions and credits.

    Try, for example, taking away the deduction for home mortgage interest, and see how long your political career lasts.

  3. SayUncle Says:

    But if you eliminated deductions and lowered the rate (hypothetically, yielding the same result) that would simplify the code.

  4. Manish Says:

    SU..if you simplify the tax code by getting rid of deductions and lowering the rate such that the government gets the same revenue, then some will benefit and some will lose out.

    If you had lots of deductions, you would probably lose out. Relatively few, and you end up doing better. If you are slightly above average, you probably do fine just on the reduced complexity.

    Particularly if you have a large mortgage, you would probably lose out. I’m currently thinking of buying a home in the bay area (which is insane by the way), and the mortgage interest and property tax deductions have been factored into what I can afford to pay each month. I will have to adjust my withholdings with my employer when I buy. Which brings the next point, which is that the real estate market would probably suffer.

  5. robert Says:

    Oh yes, the old: “If you don’t like it, change it” argument. As if.

    The founders would have changed this alright….and not by voting.

  6. robert Says:

    My BAG gun is a pair of walnut stocked Swiss K31s and 480 rounds of ammo from AIMsurplus.
    Going to the Dallas Show tomorrow. The Army contract is evidently turned BACK on, and we will be meeting at Ft Hood in a week and a half.

  7. tgirsch Says:

    But if you eliminated deductions and lowered the rate (hypothetically, yielding the same result) that would simplify the code.

    I never said it wouldn’t. I simply said that most people wouldn’t support that.

    Also, under every “simplified” tax code I’ve seen proposed thus far, most people would actually pay more taxes, with only the people on the extremes (of wealth and poverty) paying less. IOW, simplified tax codes shift even more of the tax burden to the middle class. Which is why they never gain much rank and file support.

    So people in theory support simplified tax codes (i.e., make my taxes easier), but in practice, they rarely do. They want their taxes to be simpler, and their tax bill to be at worst the same and at best noticeably lower than it is currently.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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