10 Interesting Tax Facts: Three Cheers to Tax Complexification!

10 Interesting Tax Facts: Three Cheers to Tax Complexification!

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Check out these little tax doozies I found while roaming around the internet:

  1. The Gettysburg address is 269 words, the Declaration of Independence is 1,337 words, and the Holy Bible is only 773,000 words. However, the tax law has grown from 11,400 words in 1913,  to over 7 million words today. (Go to How Long Is It for a list of U.S. representatives who have estimated the length of the tax code (law) at anywhere from 2,500 pages to 2,500,000 pages.)
  2. There are at least 480 different tax forms, each with many pages of instructions.
  3. The easiest IRS form, the 1040EZ, has 33 pages of instructions.
  4. The IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions each year. Laid end to end, they would stretch 28 times around the earth.
  5. 300,000 trees need to be cut down every year to produce enough paper for all IRS forms and instructions.
  6. American taxpayers spend $200 billion and 5.4 billion hours of their time to comply with the federal tax laws each year. That’s more than it takes to produce every car, truck, and van in the United States.
  7. The IRS employs 114,000 people; that’s twice as many as the CIA and five times more than the FBI.
  8. 60% of taxpayers must hire a professional to get through their own return.
  9. Taxes eat up 38.2% of the average family’s income.
  10. Taxpayers spend more on taxes than they do for food, shelter and clothing combined.

Cheers to the tax advisor’s full-employment bill.

Here are some interesting articles on the complexity of the U.S. Tax Code:

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About Peter Pappas

Peter is a tax attorney and certified public acccountant with over 20 years experience helping taxpayers resolve their IRS and state tax problems.

He has represented thousands of taxpayers who have been experiencing difficulty dealing with the Internal Revenue Service or State tax officials.

He is a member of the American Association of Attorney-Certified Public Accountants, the Florida Bar Association and The Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court, the United States Supreme Court, U.S. District Courts - Middle District of Florida

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  1. I have often wondered if maybe Roberts desk looked a bit like this one in the picture.

    Only during this week though.

    Some great pondering and great links.

  2. Bruce, are you kidding, I went “paperless” and my desk looks like that!

    It’s time to go green, abolish the IRS.

    (just kidding, then we’ll go broke)


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