Now I am not opposed to paying taxes, but the way they are extracted is what bothers me. I did get a refund for my efforts, but really, we are using a system from decades ago to do something relatively simple by today's standards. So that got me thinking about how much it would cost if every American who files taxes were paid to do their own taxes. Last year there were 143,607,800 tax forms filed with the IRS. Lets say that on average it costs $25 to e-file (and lets also say that everyone does), and then we give ourselves a fee of maybe $10/hour as a "DIY Tax Professional". Well putting all that into the magic abacus reveals a cost of $5,026,273,000 for Americans to do taxes - and that is probably on the low end considering how many businesses exist to serve the tax illiterate such as myself (it also does not include the 2.3 million corporate tax filings last year).
I love pissing money and time away as much as the next guy, but it would seem that we can do better than that. Last year 65% of individual taxpayers took the standard deduction, and if they are like me, they just want to get the taxes done and move on with their lives. Hell, we sent a man to the moon, and until recently were the only ones who could get the cream filling into a twinky. Maybe it is time to think about ways to streamline the tax code so more taxes are collected automatically, so fewer people need to actually worry about filing a tax form. Hopefully there will be some reasonable tax reform on the horizon, but that is about as unlikely as magically skipping April 15th next year.