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Let me start by saying that I hate taxes. I understand and accept the fact that I must pay taxes to support a limited government to help sustain civilization. I know that we all have to pay our 'fair share' (whatever that means), but does it have to be so complicated?

I just spent five hours organizing my paperwork for my taxes. Between moving across taxing districts, changing employers (same company - different corporate structure), receiving some stock and cash from a corporate spin-off, my investment club's partnership paperwork, and the settlement from a class-action lawsuit, I had way too much paperwork. Add to it the standard tax stuff like W-2s, 1099s, charitable contribution receipts, IRA and 401(k) contribution statements, and the byzantine structure that has about five different taxing bodies with their hands out for my cash, and it's enough to drive me bonkers.

I fear it's only going to get worse for the 2003 tax year, because I'm getting married. Add my future wife's income and other financial stuff to the mix, and the volume only increases. To make matters worse (from a tax perspective), we're looking to buy a house, which will require me to sell some assets for cash for a downpayment (more paperwork for capital gains/losses)... Then, I'll have the 'joys' of adding additional paperwork (property tax, mortgage interest expense, etc.) to the mix of stuff I need to track.

I just spent five hours organizing the paperwork for my taxes. That is on top of the countless hours I spent collecting, categorizing, and keeping the records for that stuff throughout the year. I just shipped that paperwork off to an accountant. Last year, the accountant charged me $125 to do the math based on my paperwork, fill in the blanks on my form, and file for me. I expect it to cost about the same this year, and while the $125 is a lot of money, I think it's well worth it...

What a pain in the neck. As much as I hate the financial costs of taxes, I do understand the need for a limited amount of government taxation to support civilization. The paperwork, however just makes an unpleasent thing worse. There has to be a better way!
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