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National Taxpayers Union Study Exposes $241 Billion, 6.7 Billion Hours Lost to Complex Tax Code
For Immediate Release April 15, 2013
Douglas Kellogg, (703) 683-5700
Pete Sepp, (703) 683-5700
(Alexandria, VA) -- Today, National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released its 15th annual study of tax complexity in the U.S., revealing that the tax code now costs the economy a startling $240.8 billion thanks to billions of hours of labor and other expenses lost to a growing and ever-invasive Tax Code.
“A Taxing Trend: The Rise in Complexity, Forms, and Paperwork Burdens” reveals a startling increase in the cost of tax complexity to the economy of more than $10 billion from the prior two years. Individual filers now shoulder a $116.8 billion dollar burden.
“Washington’s continued wrangling over taxes has done nothing to corral an out-of-control Tax Code that makes the act of filing taxes more painful every year,” said NTU Senior Counselor and study author David Keating. “The record cost of tax complexity is especially worrisome since so many additional provisions in the Affordable Care Act are still to be implemented.”
NTU has conducted comprehensive examinations of Tax Code complexity since 1999, highlighting historical trends in the compliance burden the IRS places on Americans. This year’s key findings include:
This year’s “Taxing Trend” study’s revelation of another spike in the economic cost of the Tax Code is particularly notable. More will likely be on the way. As a review of the list of Affordable Care Act tax provisions reveals, the worst is yet to come. Other recent tax changes like The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act are certainly not helping, causing headaches for “expat” workers’ and retirees’ banks.
Keating concluded, “Tax complexity is already the IRS Taxpayer Advocate’s top concern, and 2013 threatens to exacerbate the problem. How much more will it take for Congress to fix this crisis?”
NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: NTU Policy Paper 132, A Taxing Trend: The Rise in Complexity, Forms, and Paperwork Burdens, is available online and in PDF format at www.ntu.org.