Beware the Ides of April

Income Tax Day. We have someone do ours. They send me a worksheet. I fill it in, using information from the various forms the banks and employers send out. My accountant then transfers the numbers, checking against the various forms the banks and employers send out. Then they calculate my tax and send the whole package to the IRS, who transfers it to their forms and checks it against the various forms the banks and employers send out, and calculates my tax. If they agree, I get my refund. If they disagree, I get a letter.

Does anybody else find this stupid?

Howsabout the IRS takes all the various forms the banks and employers send out and calculates my tax. Maybe I fill out a form detailing the things the IRS doesn’t get from elsewhere, like the mileage my wife expends driving out to judge AKC dog shows and stuff. If I get a refund, they send it. If I owe additional, they bump up my withholding.

I’d be willing to forego a lot of deductions in order to save my time spent filling stuff out, and the money I spend on accountants. Of course anti-governmentistas will say it’s another intrusion of government (how? they know this stuff already), and that it’s garnishment of wages (which it is, but so is your regular withholding).

Sadly, it will never happen. As one article pointed out, the savings to me are mild and vague. The costs to accountants and the people who sell TurboTax are significant and pointed. They’ll always be willing to spend the money necessary to buy enough congressmen to keep this from happening.

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