04/20/2017

IRS Insanity: 54 Hours, More Than A Week, Spent On Tax Returns

Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner

The burden of filling out IRS forms has reached an insane level, a manpower cost of $170 billion lost in the 8.1 billion hours spent filling out 1,054 forms, according to a sobering new analysis of the impact of this year's Tax Day.

The report from American Action Forum considers the costs associated with all Internal Revenue Service forms, such as those corporations and doctors fill out, often for customers or patients, but it also breaks down the impact of tax season on individuals who face a Tuesday filing deadline.

"IRS currently imposes 8.1 billion hours of paperwork and generates more than 1,000 tax forms. To put these incredible burdens into perspective, that is 25 hours per person in the U.S. or 54 hours per taxpayer. In other words, the average working American spends more than a week sifting through paperwork and preparing to file," said the report.

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In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

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