Like many Americans, I have been struggling with my income taxes due since the first of the year. For a good part of that time my struggles included an tendency to ignore them, citing any number of excuses since this annual circus causes us no end of frustration, confusion, apoplexy, heartburn, headache and a variety of other maladies.
I have for many years prepared my own, with my faithful spouse’s help, using a variety of computer software that now includes several that hold your hand throughout the entire process. In fact, if it wasn’t for the government continually changing the rules, it could be fairly painless.
Unfortunately, the US tax code requires a fleet of accountants to understand it, an entire battle group of lawyers the interpret it and the Congress to think up ways to make it more complicated. The poor hapless taxpayer is the target and most of us feel like we have a bulls eye on our backs.
Here are only a few examples of idiotic bureaucratic thinking that causes taxpayers no end of problems and cost more money than they are worth:
1. Every year I get a 1099 from a small life insurance policy for under $20 dollars in interest. Is there anyone in the world except Congress or Washington bureaucrats that consider this cost effective? Most people know that it costs at least a minimum of $10.00 today to process and mail this information to me and to the IRS, not including the time it take me to save it, remember it and make sure it is included. To add insult to injury, Obama-care will now make health insurance premiums a 1099 event as they apparently believe taxpayers are too dumb to report it correctly.
2. Another company sends me a 1099 for less than $15 capital gain. Just as dumb as number one.
3. And then there’s the complicated system to determine taxable income. Isn’t taxable and income in the same sentence an oxymoron?
4. The government keeps my money for as much as fifteen and half months, penalizes me if I don’t estimate my income correctly and doesn’t pay me interest on any of it. Talk about unfair.
5. My wife and I, along with a goodly number of others, took a substantial bath during the 2008 Wall Street meltdown, but Uncle Sam says I can only take a maximum of 3000 dollars a year loss. I’ll likely not live long enough to use all.
6. Washington touts family and marriage and includes a penalty for married couples.
7. Now Congress, seven and one half months after the end of the fiscal year, can’t agree on a budget for the last fiscal year let alone consider a budget for the current fiscal year which is almost half over.
Does this make sense to anyone?