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Report: Americans Spend More Than 8.9 Billion Hours A Year On Tax Compliance

6/20/2016, Forbes -- Americans will spend more than 8.9 billion hours complying with IRS tax filing requirements in 2016. To put that in context, that works out to 222,500,000 full work weeks (assuming a standard 40 hour work week). You’d have to work 4,278,846 years straight to hit those kinds of numbers.

All in all, tax compliance will cost the U.S. economy $409 billion this year. That’s the word out of The Tax Foundation, which recently put together a report estimates the total cost of tax compliance on the U.S. economy using data from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Why is it so bad? For one, our Tax Code. In 1955, the Internal Revenue Code was 409,000 words long. Today, it’s about 2.4 million words long (depending on who you ask): almost six times as long as it was in 1955 and almost twice as long as in 1985. That means it’s growing at about 32,639 words per year or 89 words per day. That’s pretty amazing considering that Congress isn’t exactly moving and shaking these days: the House plans to be in session fewer than 111 days in 2016.

In addition to tax laws, there are roughly 7.7 million words worth of Tax Regulations. Tax regulations are the official interpretation of the Tax Code (found at Title 26). In addition, there are Proposed Regulations which are exactly what they sound like – recommended guidelines – and aren’t made final until there has been the opportunity to hear testimony and comments.

And wait, like an ad for Ginsu knives: there’s more! On top of the Code and Regulations, there are almost 60,000 pages of tax-related case law (you’ve probably read about a case or two, like Loving v. Commissioner or Comptroller v. Wynne here on the blog).

Read the rest of the story HERE.

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