Somewhat of both an article and update here. The update is that we're apologizing for the recent lag-time between articles. Hopefully, it will be back to normal after the Ides of April and the annual masochistic American exercise of dealing with taxes of all sorts.
Those of us living on the Pacific Coast have it at least twice as hard as the rest of the country. Every one of these states out here (with the exception of Alaska) are even worse than the I.R.S. when it comes to finding ways to gouge every last dime out of us. The taxation reductio ad absurdum happened up Seattle this January when the Communists, drug-addicts, and perverts who pretend to be a municipal government imposed the US' heaviest beverage tax on the already-overtaxed citizens of Puget Sound.
But to me, taxes are like dealing with lawsuits. Accountants and lawyers charge high fees; but they're almost worth paying just to avoid all of this hassle. I mean, what is the purpose behind all of this paperwork? And 99% of it is totally unnecessary.
That point was driven home last year. After spending loads of time with 'Form 1040' and '1040 Schedule C' and '1040 Schedule SE' and 'Profit and Loss Statements' and few others, and coughing up a tidy sum---the I.R.S. sent a notice that I owed still more because of a mistake on one of their complex formulae. And then, on advice from an accountant, we decided to file an 'amended return' called 'Form 1040-X'.
I was actually amazed at how simple Form 1040-X actually was. Thus, I wondered two things:
1. If the I.R.S. can send a bill like that---why don't they just send a bill instead of making us spend hours on these stupid forms? That's actually what they used to do before we had a national income tax. Congress used to pass an annual budget and send a bill to the state governors.
2. If they absolutely have to have paperwork---why not make a simple form like 1040-X for everybody?
A few years ago, politicians were talking about a Flat Tax. That idea had some flaws, but at least it would have been simpler.
There really isn't any way that taxes can be made 100% fair, though, regardless of what politicians say. But it certainly seems like it could be made more efficient.