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Tax-Law Complexity Grows Like a Bad Weed

The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released their annual study of trends in tax law complexity yesterday (press release and policy paper). According to NTU:

Taxpayers using any of the 1040 tax form series will spend an average of 24.2 hours and $207 completing their returns this year, up from 23.3 hours and $179 three years ago.

Two of the more significant findings from NTU’s study include:

Americans spent 6.65 billion hours in 2006 complying with the tax laws; the IRS accounts for nearly 4 out of every 5 paperwork burden hours imposed by the entire federal government.

“Approximately 3.45 billion of those hours were incurred by businesses. The value of this time is $156.5 billion -- an amazing 44 percent of total corporate income taxes collected in 2006!

Is there any doubt that a flat tax or the FairTax would be an improvement?


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