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Tax Filing Woes Worsening Due to Complex Laws, Citizen Group's Annual Study Finds
For Immediate Release April 17, 2006
(Alexandria, VA) -- By most measurements the burden of filing federal income taxes hasn't gotten any easier for Americans to bear, according to the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union's (NTU's) eighth annual study of tax law complexity trends. Even with the assistance of computer software, the typical 1040 long form filer will still spend at least a day and a half completing his or her income tax return this year.
"Whether they choose to let pros prepare their taxes, or try the latest computer assistance, or go it alone with pen and calculator, Americans are paying a dear price in money and time because of our complex tax system," said NTU Senior Counselor and study author David Keating. "Recent tax relief laws have helped many taxpayers keep more of the money they've worked for all year, but the work of filing their federal returns at tax time has become a tiresome chore."
The NTU study is the eighth major examination of Tax Code complexity the group has conducted since 1999, and thus provides a unique evaluation of how citizens have been confronted with compliance hurdles over time. This year, the Internal Revenue Service revised its methods for calculating tax-form completion times, thereby presenting new challenges to NTU's analytical skills. Among the findings:
"New IRS measurement techniques can't disguise the same old complexity problems that have bedeviled taxpayers for many years," Keating concluded. "Congress needs to recognize that tax simplification should go hand in hand with tax reduction."
NTU is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels. Note: NTU Policy Paper 120, A Taxing Trend: The Rise in Complexity, Forms, and Paperwork Burdens, is available online at www.ntu.org.