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The importance of tax reform, by the numbers

Lawmakers from both parties use the tax code to win backing from voters

(NationalSentinel) Taxes: It’s that time of year again that tens of millions of Americans dread the most – tax season – and just because of the fact that they may have to pay more to Uncle Sam.

Americans spend an incredible amount of time and money preparing their taxes, because the tax code is so complex and perplexing. If you’re not sitting down to do a 1040EZ – and most aren’t – then you’re going to invest some time and money into getting your taxes done right.

As noted by the Washington Free Beacon:

Taxpayers spend 6.1 billion hours a year just to comply with the federal tax code, according to experts at a Tax Foundation event on Monday.

Pete Sepp, president of the National Taxpayers Union, said that tax compliance costs taxpayers $234 billion per year in direct costs and lost productivity.

“The problem is the status quo—thinking that, well, if we don’t do tax reform this year it will just be that bad,” Sepp said. “No, the status quo is not the static quo—it’s going to get worse.”

“The paperwork burden inventory at the Office of Management and Budget related to Treasury is expected to rise by another 2 billion hours in the next few years,” he said. “One-third added to that, we’re looking at tax compliance costs of north of $400 billion a year.”

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All the more reason why President Donald J. Trump’s pledge to dramatically reform taxes is so important.

The problem is that Republicans and Democrats both like to use the tax code to win favor among the electorate. Many of Trump’s reforms include lower top rates for individuals, families and corporations, but they also include greatly compartmentalizing the tax code, getting rid of several brackets, and paring back some of the favored tax credits.

Still, without any reform, as Sepp noted, this process is only going to get more complex, more expensive and more time-consuming.

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