- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Let us assume for the moment that a federal income tax system, which subjects us to annual misery, the loss of tens of billions of dollars and hours of our time in the pursuit of compliance, is the best and most equitable means of assessing what we owe our country.

Why, then, does our government not make it as simple as possible for us to file our returns? Our employers, investment companies and banks are required to report our wages, dividends, capital gains and interest received and paid to the Internal Revenue Service, accompanied by our Social Security numbers. It should be simple for the IRS to compile those figures and prepare a preliminary return on that basis for every taxpayer - yet this option is not afforded us.

Instead, we are responsible for maintaining every record and compiling all of them so that we can build our own tax return. Most figures that we are writing on our tax returns or keying into software programs that will generate a return are, by law, already in the hands of the Department of the Treasury.

What we pay as our share of the tax burden is made more miserable by the anxiety we endure on an annual basis to generate our tax returns. Is it not reasonable to conclude that our so-called “leaders” want to make complying with the burgeoning and incomprehensible IRS code as burdensome as possible?

This is one of the greatest failures of government, and it is on display for all to see as tens of millions of us experience our day of infamy each year, April 15.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.


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