Posted On: Thursday - April 21st 2022 7:27PM MST
In Topics:   US Feral Government  Taxes
Federal Gov't politicians have been talking about reducing the burden of income tax filing since before I can remember. I remember old Ronnie talking about it, and then his quip about how the forms would end up simplified:
In our Part 3 of our "Morning Constitutional" series rant about Amendment XVI, Peak Stupidity listed 5 evils of the Income Tax* in Dave Letterman-style order, least to most evil. The regulatory burden comes in at only number 5, but that's what I was dealing with a few days back. Let me paste some of what I wrote 2 years ago in:
IRS FORM 1040 EZ - PZ:
1] How much money did you earn this year? ________
2] Send it in!
It's become an "industry" of its own. This whole income tax withholding*** thing, the saving of receipts for itemization, the gathering of forms together, the ritual of filling out the forms at the bar during SuperBowl half-time (at least for near a decade, as mentioned here) are pretty much a part of Americana now. No, don't take that the wrong way, as it is absolutely NOT just like baseball, hot dogs, apple pies, and 1970s Chevrolets!Well, see, that's the other guy. I just plain don't care enough anymore, or maybe never did. I was surprised that the deadline is now April 18th rather than the old cruelest day, 4/15. How long has that been going on?
It's just that the whole thing has been part of life for so long, that many wouldn't know what to do without it. "What, you mean I just keep my money? All of it? I don't get it."
The amount of labor involved in not just the tax calculations and submission of forms, but the continual planning and document collecting throughout the whole year is staggering. It is not wealth creation and is not productive time spent in any sense of the word.
Why the bad attitude? I take it very personally that besides paying these big sums of money to the Feral Government to screw me with, the complexity of it would force me to spend time and/or more of my money to tell the IRS how much I owe! I say "would" because I just don't let it. I refuse to pay anyone, first of all, and I refuse to spend more than a couple of hours on it. If that means skipping a form here and there that's too convoluted, so be it. These people have computers. I paid for those computers too. Let 'em use 'em to help ME out.
Admittedly, my family's deal is very straightforward, and nothing has changed in a good while from year to year beside the raw numbers. The previous year's form is my guide. As with last year's taxes, I was supposed to fill out this one form for a credit. For some reason, I didn't do that last year, so I had no guide. I looked at the convoluted path on that form that was to give me the same round number as last year. Fuck it. Enough was enough. There were blog posts to write.
Yes, I AM proud of my attitude about the IRS.
Well, you've got to take a break or two during this form-filling process, so I made comments on The Unz Review and looked at Instapundit who steered me to this Washington Examiner page, from where I got the above graphic.
So, let's see. There were the stamps, the envelope, and the check, at most $1.50. Well that beats that $800.55 average. I got it done in about and hour and a half, including making copies**, and then there was at most 1/2 hour spent since January taking pieces of mail and putting them in the file. Say 2 hr vs. that 24.9 hr average. That's a savings of 99.8% and 92% on time and money, respectively.
Come on, America! You can do better!
* For commenter Adam Smith, I do remember your corrections on the actual implementation of the income tax, so please bear with me on my lame simplification.
** Cause, you know, they are prone to losing them after they unstaple my checks and deposit them - see Me and the IRS