Check out these little tax doozies I found while roaming around the internet:
- 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.)
- There are at least 480 different tax forms, each with many pages of instructions.
- The easiest IRS form, the 1040EZ, has 33 pages of instructions.
- 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.
- 300,000 trees need to be cut down every year to produce enough paper for all IRS forms and instructions.
- 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.
- The IRS employs 114,000 people; that’s twice as many as the CIA and five times more than the FBI.
- 60% of taxpayers must hire a professional to get through their own return.
- Taxes eat up 38.2% of the average family’s income.
- 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:
- Tax Foundation – Poll: Tax Code Complex, Federal Income Taxes “Too High”
- PBS News Hour – A Taxing Issue
- Tax Updates – Yes, the Tax Code is too Complicated
- Fox News – Can Anyone Tackle the Monster Tax Code
- NPR – Tax Complexity and the Working Poor
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