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Subject:  OT: simplifying the tax code, etc. Date:  1/31/2012  1:31 PM
Author:  katiewa Number:  114797 of 127549

I totally agree that Congress should have to file a paper return, done by themselves using nothing but a 4-function calculator, once every 4-5 years.

It's not just simplification in the way most people think of it--I'm really not completely philosophically opposed to the concept of trying to encourage various types of behavior via the tax code. Not that I really like it, but it seems to work roughly as well as anything else.

What really gets me are filling out Schedule E for a $60 (approx.) royalty payment from a gas lease--no foreign taxes, no nothing. Last year there was also a Schedule D for $2.11 because one of our stock holdings decided they don't do partial shares anymore. The AMT could be reduced to 1 page (and a lot less frustration, plus a higher level of certainty that I did it right) if they'd just give me the rules and formula for calculating the tax I owe instead of all the "let's make it so simple any idiot can do it" goofy-ness on the second page. Same goes for the federal tax table for under $100,000--they already have the formulae--it'd be one page instead of twelve. Same goes for the Qualified Dividends & Capital Gains Worksheet--give me the formula instead of having me write down the same three numbers 3-5 times each. (All of the worksheets seem to be this way.)

While we're at it, why is it that, in this day and age, 1099's don't get done until 31 January? Most of our accounts have on-line end-of-year statements so I can pretty much figure out our tax, but I don't necessarily have everything in the proper boxes. Why aren't the 1099's ready on-line at the end of the first week of January? My taxes have been mostly ready to go for 2.5 weeks, just waiting on 2-3 more 1099's. (Had two financial aid deadlines for 1 February, so had to fill out the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE, which is even worse.)

The FAFSA is another bit of (government) ridiculousness in that they pretend that the student is filling it out. What a joke!!!! At least the CSS PROFILE let's you choose whether it's a parent or the student who is filling it out.

However, I got my FAFSA and CSS PROFILE sent last night, and I have one more bit of paper to send off today, plus a bunch of laundry to do. Then I'm going to leave my computer for two days and go skiing in fresh (and falling) snow with the mountain essentially to myself :-)!!

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