Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tax Code

Instapundit linked to this USNews report on the complexities of the tax code. A nice tidbit contained within is that 60% of filers use hired preparers and an additional 22% buy software. I'm one of the 60% and I think the article misses the point.

I'm a pretty normal Joe. I'm not self employed, I itemize because of the house and my charitable contributions, and I have some tax-deferred income for retirement and health care. I have never had trouble with the federal tax form. All my trouble is with the states. This is compounded by the fact that I live and work in two different states. Every year I have to file two interrelated state tax forms. After software failed me a couple years ago, I've used preparers ever since.

My taxes get done faster because total preparation time is reduced to about an hour and I avoid procrastination. They save me money by both finding additional deductions (or moving deductions around) and insulating me from any possible preparation errors. It worth my while both financially and psychologically.

But in the end reforming the US tax code won't fix any of this, because it isn't where the problem lies.

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