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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

U.S. Tax Code now 4 times as long as Shakespeare's complete works

The 1040 has grown from 2 pages to 189 pages.

For those of you who think that government is the answer, this is what government does. There is absolutely no reason doing your taxes should be so complicated other than to keep you confused. It’s a way they can steal from you without you even knowing it!

10 Things I Hate About Tax Day

  • Arends: Why writing the big check to Uncle Sam is the least of it.

By BRETT ARENDS

Have you got your schedule C in order? Have you hunted down all your receipts? Have you made sure to count the depreciation on your laptop and the percentage of your cable bill attributable to your home office expense? And what about those education credits?

After all, it's not like you have anything else to do, right? It's lucky it's all so easy and painless. Ha!

Everybody hates Tax Day, which comes this year on April 17. And so do I. But not for the usual reasons.

This is the time of year when everyone seems to scream about just how much the federal government is costing us all. Weirdly enough, that's not one of the things that really gets me. It's the things that apparently no one else -- at least no one else in the media -- seems to notice.

Am I crazy? Am I alone? Maybe. You tell me.

Here are my top 10 Tax Day hates.

1. Paperwork

[smtaxpaperwork]Getty Images

Why isn't there a riot about this? According to the National Taxpayers Union, we each waste about 12 hours a year, every year, filling out this crazy stuff. Schedule B. Schedule C. Above the line. Below the line. Deductions, exemptions, non-refundable credits. Medical bills over 7.5% of adjusted gross income.

It's like we're being mugged and held hostage. Every year.

The instruction booklet for the 1040 now runs to 189 pages. No kidding. Seventy-five years ago, says the NTU, it was two pages.

The U.S. tax code is insane and out of control. It's tripled in a decade. It now runs to 3.8 million words. To put that in context, William Shakespeare only needed 900,000 words to say everything he had to say. Hamlet. Othello. The history plays. The sonnets. The whole shebang. But the IRS needs four times as many words? Really?

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