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View Full Version : Tax Law Authors Have Pros Do Their Returns


OldDude
04-16-06, 08:49 AM
There ought to be a law! The only way to ever get simpler tax laws is to require the members of committees that write the laws to do their own returns with pencil and paper. No tax software, no professionals. Then they'd have equity in simple, easy-to-understand forms.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060416/ap_on_go_co/tax_writers_returns;_ylt=AibxtRxTEPaSEehoEKmQXASs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ--
Tax Law Authors Have Pros Do Their Returns
By MARY DALRYMPLE, AP Tax Writer

WASHINGTON - Many lawmakers who sit on the tax-writing committees in Congress hire professional preparers to fill out their tax returns, rather than try to decipher by themselves the laws they've written.

Three of the four senior lawmakers on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, the panels in charge of writing tax laws, turn to paid professionals to file their annual returns.

The exception is Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, R-Calif., a former college professor who said he has prepared his own return "forever" and that he'd wait until close to the deadline to file.

"There's no reason for me to pay Uncle Sam pay, you heard that until I have to," he said. . . .

classicman2
04-16-06, 09:02 AM
Do you suppose a number of them have professionals perform the task because they don't have the time to do so?

Couldn't that be a legitimate reason?

OldDude
04-16-06, 09:10 AM
If it were simple enough, they'd have enough time.

Some nations have reduced the tax form to a postcard. Possibly that is over-simplification.

The US system has several dozen feet of tax code, when published as paper and requires multiple degrees and year-round training to keep up with the changes.

If they wrote simpler laws, they'd have more free time. Probably enough time to follow their own laws and do their own tax forms.

Is there a reason you prefer hideously complex tax code?

Jason
04-16-06, 09:58 AM
If it were simple enough, they'd have enough time.

Nah, they're still to self-important to actually do a menial task like that themselves.

wildcatlh
04-16-06, 10:02 AM
I have a msters degree in tax, and I use TurboTax to do my taxes ... not because I couldn't do them myself, but because I don't have time to do them.

al_bundy
04-16-06, 10:16 AM
simpler tax laws would mean i have to pay more taxes, no thanks

Tracer Bullet
04-16-06, 10:17 AM
They write the criminal laws too, but I bet if they were charged with a crime they'd get a lawyer.

al_bundy
04-16-06, 10:19 AM
the criminal laws themselves are pretty simple to understand. it's the case law and procedure that requires a lawyer

OldDude
04-16-06, 10:21 AM
OK, I give up. Obviously, the public prefers ever-increasing complexity in the tax code, and the requirement to use professionals or software to compute taxes. That must be why tax simplification never goes anywhere.

classicman2
04-16-06, 10:23 AM
No, we just don't favor what you most likely favor - a flat tax. :)

Of course, the flat tax supporters don't really favor a 'flat tax.'

al_bundy
04-16-06, 10:26 AM
i prefer high rates and a lot of deductions to make the feel gooders feel like they are socially concious or something so I can pay a lot less after the deductions. if we had a flat tax then there is no way out of paying the high rates.

and you will still need deductions since things like housing and medical care need to be paid before taxes

Tracer Bullet
04-16-06, 10:32 AM
Progressive income tax. Ger rid of most, if not all, deductions. The people taking the most deductions are also the people most able to pay that tax.

Th0r S1mpson
04-16-06, 11:12 AM
Progressive income tax. Ger rid of most, if not all, deductions. The people taking the most deductions are also the people most able to pay that tax.
You'd better reduce the price of homes then, or you're going to decimate the middle class.

al_bundy
04-16-06, 11:16 AM
that's why it will never pass, politicians will get kicked out of office like it's 1994

Red Dog
04-16-06, 11:27 AM
Sadly, this isn't surprising at all.

OldDude
04-16-06, 12:41 PM
You'd better reduce the price of homes then, or you're going to decimate the middle class.

If the tax rates were reduced at the same time the deductions were eliminated, it would be tax neutral on average. Sure, there'd still be winners and losers, but maybe not all that much. It would just be easier.

But the deductions do distort the economy, because only certain expenditures earn "brownie points' at the tax office.

al_bundy
04-16-06, 12:44 PM
the flat tax ideas I've seen are a tax increase in hiding

OldDude
04-16-06, 01:14 PM
the flat tax ideas I've seen are a tax increase in hiding

BINGO!!. We Have a winner!!

That's the real reason not to fix the tax code. The slimy bastards can't be trusted. Do-nothing Congresses are best.