Americans Spend Billions of Dollars and Billions of Hours Doing Their Taxes Each Year

Katie Pavlich

4/14/2014 7:13:00 AM - Katie Pavlich

Tax day is tomorrow which means it's a good time to remind everyone just how much time and energy they're spending to get their returns to the IRS.

According to Republican Dave Camp, Americans spend billions of dollars and billions of hours complying with the complicated tax system.

“It takes the average American taxpayer 13 hours to comply with the tax code, gathering receipts, reading the rules and filling out the forms the IRS requires. .?.?. The tax code forces Americans to spend over $168 billion to comply and 6 billion hours.”

But not only are Americans paying way too much to file their taxes, the amount of taxes they're paying is also completely out of control. According to the Tax Foundation, Americans spend more on taxes each year than they do on clothing, food and housing combined.

We count in the denominator every dollar that is officially part of national income according to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. We count in the numerator every payment to the government that is officially considered a tax. Taxes at all levels of government are included, whether levied by Uncle Sam or state and local governments. In calculating Tax Freedom Day for each state, we look at taxes borne by residents of that state, whether paid to the federal government, their own state or local government, or governments of other states. Where possible, we allocate tax burdens to the taxpayer’s state of residence. Leap days are excluded to allow comparison across years, and any fraction of a day is rounded up to the next calendar day.


Although Republicans have proposed an overhaul to the tax system, movement on the issue has been slow on Capitol Hill. From the White House, President Obama has proposed more than 400 tax increases since taking office in 2009 according to Americans for Tax Reform.

The 442 total proposed tax increases does not include the 20 tax increases Obama signed into law as part of Obamacare.

“History tells us what Obama was able to do. This list reminds us of what Obama wanted to do,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

The number of proposed tax increases per year is as follows:

-79 tax increases for FY 2010

-52 tax increases for FY 2011

-47 tax increases for FY 2012

-34 tax increases for FY 2013

-137 tax increases for FY 2014

-93 tax increases for FY 2015


Taxed enough already.