Get Rid of the Forms

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, April 16, 2004

Get Rid of the Forms

Yesterday was tax day, as you know. But did you know that a decade of government tinkering with the tax code has added a billion extra hours to the annual paperwork required of those who pay taxes?

The National Taxpayers Union says that although the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 allowed us to keep more of our money, the savings came with a price tag – a measurable rise in complex forms, instructions and other compliance hassles.

NTU found it now takes the average American 28 hours and 30 minutes to prepare the 1040 “long” form with the three common schedules a, b and d. That’s an increase of 34 percent since 1995.

The 1040-a “short form,” along with common schedule 1, takes nearly as long to prepare (11 hours and 32 minutes) as the long form did just nine years ago.

The solution is a national sales tax or a flat income tax. Get rid of the forms, the hassles and the lobbyists who, along with Congress, created this impossible, aggravating and needless system. 

I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.

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