Monday, April 09, 2007

Tax Deadline Approaches: Bring Us Back to 1913

University of Dayton history professor Larry Schweikart traces the history of the U.S. income tax in today's NY Sun (Take Us Back to '13) and concludes that:

As it now stands, the income tax is oppressive in its rates and ridiculously complex. While a good argument could be made for alternatives, the best solution to fixing the tax code is to return to the lowrate simple form of 1913. (appears above)

See the entire 1913 IRS 1040 form here (only 4 pages including all forms and instructions).

We now have a 67,204 page tax code, which significantly contributes to the reality that 60% of taxpayers today have to hire a tax professional - I don't think anybody in 1913 needed help to fill out the one-page tax form above!

From the USA Today article from last week "67,204-page Code Confounds Taxpayers:"

This year, individuals and companies will spend about $300 billion on tax preparation costs. To put that in perspective, that is a 20% levy on top of the $1.5 trillion they will actually pay in taxes.


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