Happy Tax Day

Happy, or more likely, unhappy Tax Day.  To help celebrate Tax Day the Tax Foundation have compiled some statistics about our current federal tax system:

• If tax compliance were an industry, it would be one of the largest in the United States.  The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) estimates that U.S. taxpayers and businesses spend about 6.1 billion hours filing their taxes each year.  To consume 6.1 billion hours, the “tax industry” requires the equivalent of more than three million full-time workers.

• Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, TAS estimates that the costs of complying with the individual and corporate income tax requirements for 2008 amounted to $163 billion—or a staggering 11 percent of aggregate income tax receipts.

• According to a tally compiled by a leading publisher of tax information, there have been approximately 4,428 changes to the tax code over the past 10 years, an average of more than one a day, including an estimated 579 changes in 2010 alone.

• The tax code has grown so extensive that it has become challenging even to figure out how long it actually is.  A search of the Code conducted for this report turned up 3.8 million words.  A 2005 report by a tax research organization put the number of words at 2.1 million, and notably, found that the number had almost tripled since 1975.

• The CCH Standard Federal Tax Reporter, a leading publication for tax professionals that summarizes administrative guidance and judicial decisions issued under each section of the Code, now comprises 25 volumes and takes up nine feet of shelf space.

One thing us Texans can be thankful for on Tax Day is that we do not have to fill out a state income tax form along with our federal form!

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