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Subject:  OT: Talk about misleading statistics Date:  4/15/2004  10:09 AM
Author:  Lokicious Number:  9927 of 36468

The IRS is reporting it takes over 28 hours for the average tax filer with itemized deductions, dividends, and capital gains to fill out federal taxes, an increase of over 40 minutes from last year.

Now, you want a real conspiracy, it is the advocates for a flat tax (which to keep tax revenues constant would be a huge tax cut for the wealthy and huge increase for everyone else) using people's hatred of filling out tax forms to con them into wanting less paperwork, without realizing the consequence. Not that the IRS is necessarily part of this conspiracy, though I would suspect Bush politcal appointees are, but this kind of statistic lends itself to abuse.

The vast majority of filers don't have any of the above, and even those who do have all of the above, if you control for the folks who have the above in spades, most of whom have accountants fill out the forms for them, are going to have at most a few dividend paying stocks or mutual funds in a taxable account, which is what added the extra time,

Filling out the new forms was a bit of the pain: in theory I have all the above. It added about 5-10 minutes, and that was because it was new. I don't know how much my total time was, because I gather tax relevant documents through the year and keep them handy, but adding up the federal numbers and filling in the forms took me about 2 hours, while watching NCAAs, and I'm probably fairly typical in the number of charities and sources for dividends and Schedule D. Oh, and for the fun of it, I do my addition by hand.
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