Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Abomination that is the U.S. Tax Code

The Abomination that is the U.S. Tax Code

For those who actually work for a living, have investment income, or have a retirement income, few things are as exasperating as the United States federal tax code and the tax system overall.  The legislators, who have currently left for a 10-day vacation with the nation on the verge of financial crisis in the form of the sequestration, have contributed to the onerous system that cripples the U.S.  Economy and strikes frustration and occasionally fear into the typical law abiding citizen.

This is a timely topic for me since I began my annual task of preparing our taxes today. If it weren’t for TurboTax, I would be forced to pay an accountant. Since at one time I was compelled to hire someone to prepare my taxes at an exorbitant fee, I am loath to follow that path now. Hence, I have spent a frustrating, mind numbing, exasperating day of digging through records and filling out tax forms beginning at 9:00am and stopping (not ending) at 5:30 this evening.

Were it not for the software program, it would be nearly impossible to identify how to complete the process. Before Turbo Tax, we were at the mercy of tax accountants or the IRS customer service line. If the IRS gave incorrect information, it was and still is the taxpayer who is responsible for the errors in reporting. Not even IRS employees fully appreciate the intricacies of the tax code.

But as always, members of Congress bow to the special interest groups and lobbyists and mold the already incomprehensible tax code to hide their pandering to those who pay millions to their reelection campaigns.

Okay – those who don’t work or who are under employed have no incentive to seek change because the tax laws benefit them by giving them rebates, refunds, credits and cash back just for breathing our air. The rest of us get screwed – and not in the fun, biblical way.

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