Crushed by the tax code

April 7, 2014 

Our great nation is burdened by a tax code that is so convoluted, bewildering and confusing as to be absurd in the extreme. We must deal with this reality because of the weak nature of our elected representatives and their subservience to the special interests who advocate all kinds of special tax provisions for their patrons. In addition, the army of tax lawyers and accountants earn their substantial fees because of the code's complexity. The United States Tax Code is small print, 73,954 pages long, and continually growing.

Anyone who must fill out Schedule D and it handmaiden, Form 8949, is in for a real treat of frustration and despair. The machinations the taxpayer must go through to accomplish this task are ridiculous. For example, "enter amount from 1040 line 22, subtract line 4 from line 3. Is the amount on line 5 less than the amount on line 27? If 'no,' stop; if 'yes,' follow instructions below that apply to you." These kinds of instructions go on for page after page and worksheet after worksheet. No wonder the great majority of Americans gave up long ago and are forced to pay for help.

We obviously need a greatly simplified tax code that still raises sufficient revenue but does not have the hundreds of exceptions and benefits for all the special interests who prey on our feckless representatives. I am not hopeful this can be accomplished until our elected officials become dedicated to the needs of the majority of their constituents and the benefits that would accrue to the country.

Lee R. Pitzer

O'Fallon

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