Happy Tax Day!!!
For those of you racing to finish and mail your tax returns in today, you have my sympathies (not that you would notice because you probably are struggling to get all your paperwork out the door and are not reading this blog). I know nobody — except maybe your accountant (I am looking at you, H&R Block) — actually enjoys dealing with tax returns, but they are as constant as the Northern Star. However, not many people really know the true cost for all of us to do our taxes.
According to the IRS’s own numbers, most taxpayers have to spend an average of 16 hours to collect their records, do their tax planning, and fill out their actual forms. For businesses, that number jumps up to an average of 23 hours. Taken together, taxpayers spend a total of 6.1 billion hours doing their taxes. Talk about a lot of time that could be spent doing more productive things.
However, that is not the whole story. If you think April 15 is the end of your tax nightmare, think again. According to the Tax Foundation, Americans will have to work until April 18 to earn enough money to pay their tax bills. So even after they file their tax returns, the American people will have to work an extra three days to pay their share to the government.
The government needs money to function, but 3 1/2 months of income is a bit much (to put it lightly) and there is no reason why doing one’s taxes should take more than 16 minutes, never mind 16 hours. To save us time, money, and the prospect of even more inane commercials, policymakers should give us a break and fix the tax code.