American taxpayers will spend nearly 9 billion hours complying with the 2016 tax code, according to a new report.
The Tax Foundation examined
the amount of hours and money it takes for Americans to compute and file taxes, from single adults all the way up to large businesses. The group calculated the cost of tax compliance this year will be $409 billion.
The more the 8.9 billion hours spent is, according to the report, "equal to nearly 4.3 million full-time workers doing nothing but tax return paperwork. The majority of the 8.9 billion hours will be spent complying with U.S. business (2.8 billion hours) and individual income (2.6 billion hours) tax returns."
The report talks about the sheer size of the U.S. tax code. In 1955 it consisted of 409,000 words. It is now at 2.4 million words. There are also 7.7 million words of tax regulations and 60,000 pages of tax-related case law.
"Time is precious, and Americans should not be forced to waste it complying with IRS tax forms," the report reads.
"The latest official estimates of the eye-popping amount of time and money that Americans lose each year in complying with IRS paperwork — 8.9 billion hours and $409 billion in lost productivity — indicate that the most important benefit of tax simplification may be the gift of time."
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose presidential bid ended last month, vowed to abolish the IRS and simplify the tax code if he was elected.
"There are more words in the IRS code than there are in the Bible," Cruz said last fall
. "And not a one of them is as good."
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