Monday, March 14, 2011

A Waste of Time and Dollars?

I spent two hours yesterday doing my taxes.  That was only time spent entering all the data on TurboTax.  That was after I went through all of my receipts, catalogued everything, and made sure I actually had everything I needed to start.

It got me thinking, yet again, that there has to be a better way to collect taxes.  You go to a store and pay a sales tax.  Once or twice a year you get a property tax bill.  If you have an escrow account for taxes, you do not even have to think about it until Federal tax time.  When I worked for Detroit, my city income tax was deducted from my pay, but it was so straightforward, I never even filed to get my refund of overpayment.  It was too much trouble.

Not so with Federal taxes.  A 'you know what' nightmare.  So much wasted time.  I found this online in Wikipedia:

The cost of preparing and filing all business and personal tax returns is estimated to be $250 to $300 billion each year. According to a 2005 report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the efficiency cost of the tax system—the output that is lost over and above the tax itself—is between $240 billion and $600 billion per year.

I am sure we have better uses for those dollars and lost productivity.

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