I am relieved that tax season is done. It’s not that I mind paying taxes. What bothers me is how complicated they are.
My wife and I paid about $60 for Turbo Tax this year, even though our finances are pretty straightforward. It still took us about 10 hours to complete our taxes.
We have had trained AARP volunteers complete my mom’s equally straightforward taxes over the past several years, and they had difficulties. I’m not questioning AARP’s services or abilities. But I am questioning why our elected officials have made it so difficult to complete our taxes.
According to Wikipedia:
- In 2007, 59 percent of people required to file taxes paid a tax preparer to complete their taxes. Shouldn’t most everyone be able to quickly and easily complete their own taxes?
- The cost of preparing our tax returns is estimated to be between $100 billion and $150 billion each year. Shouldn’t we be able to keep our money instead of spending it on figuring out what the government wants us to do?
- In 2012, there were 1.2 million tax preparers in this country. That’s more than the total number of law enforcement officers and firefighters combined. Shouldn’t the tax preparers put their talents into something more worthwhile?
- The tax preparation industry made a profit of $6 billion in 2012, and they have lobbied our elected officials to keep our taxes complicated. Shouldn’t we stop paying these middlemen, and stop their undue influence on our elected officials?
I would be pleased if our taxes were simpler, quicker, easier and less wasteful, and even more pleased if the tax code was fairer to the middle class.