Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There has got to be an easier way (a taxpayer's lament)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have never found tax time a time to party -- with or without my accountants. Drink, yes; party, no. Even when I've gotten a refund (which would not be this year). That said, I have no doubt that thousands of accountants will be partying come tomorrow -- and hopefully not posting those videos to YouTube.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for paying taxes (love me good schools, good roads, safe bridges and tunnels -- unnecessary wars and weapons? not so much). But there has got to be an easier, less expensive way to do it. (Flat tax? Consumption tax?)

Btw, I think the New York Times's Eduardo Porter spoke for many of us when he wrote that the United States had "what must be the most inefficient, mind-bogglingly complex tax system known to man."

And Heaven -- or an accountant -- help you if you are a U.S. citizen living abroad: "Alone among the citizens of the developed world, Americans have the same tax-filing and tax-payment responsibilities whether or not they reside in the United States. American expatriates still have to file the annual Form 1040, and all the documentation that goes with it — even though most already pay taxes in their countries of residence." So much for the spouse and I spending a year or three abroad!

Anyway, here's to another tax day come and gone. Hope you (unlike us) got a big refund!

1 comment:

WiseFather said...

A flat tax? It sure does sound fair: Everyone pays the same tax rate. It takes just a little bit of thinking to figure out it does not work out so fairly in practice. I guess that’s what they are counting on. It is easy to say a flat tax is a good idea. Explaining how it is a scam takes many more words. Some of those words, including the Seinfeld haircut analogy can be found at this post: http://www.ragingwisdom.com/?p=473