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The Tax-Code Mess

EdFix Wrote: Apr 21, 2012 8:19 AM
Twice over the last three years, I have gotten letters from the IRS claiming that I owed thousands of dollars in additional taxes. Both times, when the dust settled, the problem was the IRS's inability to apply their own instructions, or perform basic arithmetic. In the tax code, the government has levied a duty on each of us that, in general, is impossible for us to perform. That's why there is such a thing as a "tax accountant". Now, apparently, the IRS's job has become impossible for it to perform, as well.

In recent weeks President Obama has been on a quixotic search-and-destroy mission for the few remaining millionaires who aren't already paying a huge pile of taxes. Meanwhile, the rest of us face the real-world struggles of filing our IRS returns and dealing with the hugely complex tax system that the president has done nothing to fix.

The federal tax code is getting uglier every year as politicians from both parties add more credits, deductions and other special breaks. In the first year of the income tax in 1913, the 1040 tax form came with just one page of instructions. This...