Animal’s Daily Tax Day News

Before we start, check out Part 3 of The Deal over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  Yesterday was tax day.  Our taxes were filed in February, Mrs. Animal being very efficient and a master at making sure we pay every penny we are required by law to pay, and not one penny more.  But not every family has a Mrs. Animal with her uncanny ability to navigate the complications of filing not only our personal taxes but the also to find her way through the Byzantine corridors of filing for a small LLC.  Most folks have to have professional help, and that costs a lot of money.  Excerpt:

Filing taxes this year is expected to cost taxpayers and businesses about 6.5 billion hours at a cost of $210 billion, a staggering — and record — paperwork burden.

With the deadline to file coming Monday, rules and regulations involved in filling out taxes are choking the nation like never before, according to an analysis by Dan Bosch, the director of regulatory policy for American Action Forum.

“Costs grew dramatically from 2021 to 2022, topping $200 billion for the first time. The $18.4 billion increase is the biggest year-over-year change since 2018, when costs exceeded 2017 levels by $24.3 billion,” said Bosch’s report, Tracker: The Cost of Tax Paperwork.

Here’s the fun bit:

While it wasn’t in his report, Bosch told us that costs to individuals for preparing tax returns were high. “The average tax filer spends $242.96 and 12.5 hours on their return each year,” he said.

Multiply that by the number of individuals filing income tax in the United States today.

This shit just isn’t funny.  It’s a horrible drain on our citizenry, and is criminally complex.  Why?  Because for some time now, the tax code has been a vehicle for rewarding some groups, punishing others, and picking winners and losers in the economy.  Not surprisingly, I have some thoughts on how to fix this.

  1. Eliminate withholding.  Everyone, every quarter, has to send money to the IRS.
  2. Eliminate “progressive” taxation.  Implement a single-rate flat tax with no exemptions or deductions for individuals.  Everyone pays something.
  3. I’d be willing to consider exempting the first, oh, $40k from taxation, if that’s what it took to get it done – in return, I’d want major welfare reform, to include lifetime limits and severe restrictions on how public aid is delivered – no more open-ended debit cards.

Who am I kidding, you ask?  Well, sure, in the existing political environment, none of this will happen.  There’s no way either major party will vote to give away the power they now hold.  The power to tax is the power to destroy, and both parties are, honestly, too damn anxious to hold on to that power.