Location : Wabbit Hole
Job/hobbies : Cayman Islands Actuary
|Subject: Filing Taxes in Japan Is a Breeze. Why Not Here? Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:57 pm|| |
|Ah, the blithe joys of springtime in the United States. Azaleas in bloom at the Masters, breezy picnics on balmy afternoons, Easter egg hunts — and the annual ordeal of tax forms, with helpful I.R.S. instructions like this: “Go to Part IV of Schedule I to figure line 52 if the estate or trust has qualified dividends or has a gain on lines 18a and 19 of column (2) of Schedule D (Form 1041) (as refigured for the AMT, if necessary).”|
Americans will spend more than six billion hours this year gathering records and filling out forms, just to pay their taxes. They will pay some $10 billion to tax preparation firms to help get the job done and spend $2 billion on tax-preparation software (programs that still require hours of work). Millions will subsequently get a notice from the I.R.S. saying they got the figures wrong, or put the right number on the wrong line or added wrong in calculating line 47 — which means more hours of work or more fees to the tax preparer.
And here’s the most maddening thing of all: It doesn’t have to be this way.
Parliaments and revenue agencies all over the world have done what Congress seems totally unable to do: They’ve made paying taxes easy. If you walk down the street in Tel Aviv, Tokyo, London or Lima, Peru, you won’t see an office of H & R Block or a similar company; in most countries, there’s no need for that industry.
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