March 2 2012

Tax Simplification

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By Carrie Lukas

Our tax code not only takes too much of our money—it also takes too much of our time. Americans spend more than 7.6 billion hours each year complying with our tax code. That’s the equivalent of more than 3.8 million full-time workers.

There’s a tremendous cost associated with all of this wasted time and energy. The average non-business individual filer loses twelve hours and $160 in out-of-pocket each year for tax filing preparation or assistance. And even after all this investment, millions are still left wondering if they accidentally broke the law or gave Uncle Sam more of their earnings than they had to.

Corporations similarly lose time and money, both in complying with the law and working to minimize their payments, that otherwise could have been used to hire workers and expand production. This slows economic growth, leaving all americans poorer as a result.

The complicated tax code is also a recipe for political corruption. Businesses hire lobbyists to go to Washington to plead for special deals for their industry or corporation. This creates an un-level playing field, making our economy less competitive and disadvantaging less politically-connected competitors. The many loop holes create a sense of unfairness and ill-will, as many assume that others pay creative advisers to find ways to avoid paying their fair share.

Americans deserve a fair, transparent, simple tax code that’s sole goal is to raise the money necessary to fund the legitimate functions of government.

To download and read the rest of this month's policy focus, click here.

 

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