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As I See It

U.S. tax code shouldn’t be longer than the Harry Potter books



Monday was tax day, a time to satisfy our financial obligations to state and federal government, and a reminder of how unnecessarily complex filing our taxes is. The federal tax code is so long, containing so many words, that there is little agreement on just how long it actually is. Some estimates are 2600 pages. That is more than a million words, about double the number of words in “War and Peace” and about as long as the entire “Harry Potter” series. That is just the tax code, not the voluminous tax regulations and clarifications, which run another 9000 pages, containing another 4 million words. It would literally take 8 weeks to read it all. There has to be a simpler way. It seems they only add words to the tax code rather than take them away. The federal tax code has nearly doubled since 1985. All those rules not only make filing so difficult we have to go to professionals to do it, it also increases the chances of making a mistake with so many ever-changing rules. The next time Congress decides to make changes to tax laws, they should get to work streamlining the process, making it easier for filers to comply with the laws and to file their paperwork.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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