Phil for Humanity Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

Tax Returns are Too Complicated

I just received my tax return (also known as the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) from my accountant, and I have to conclude that Form 1040 is too complicated.

I wanted to verify the work that my accountant did, so I spent over two hours trying to backward engineer my completed form. The basic form was not too difficult to understand, but I am not sure I would have correctly filled it out all by myself if I needed to. On the other hand, the attachments or "schedules" are a different story. I was not able to decrypt most of these schedules even though they were already completed, therefore I would not have been able to complete my tax return by myself.

I think I would be eventually able to backward engineer my entire Form 1040, but I think it is ridiculous that this form is so hard to understand for the common man. I consider myself with an average to above average intelligence, yet I had difficulties understanding my tax return form when it was already completed. I am certain it would be extremely time consuming and stressful trying to figure out how to fill out these forms by oneself. I especially feel sorry for anyone who cannot afford to hire a tax accountant but needs one.

Iím certain that a lot of people have an even more complicated tax return form that I do, especially if they are self employed, have rental properties, have a trust, etc. I guess the American tax code is a racket to keep tax accountants in business.

In my opinion, it is the responsibility of the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.) to simplify Form 1040 until most of the population is able to fill out their personal tax returns by themselves. Maybe if enough of us contact the I.R.S., then they would simplify the form for everyone.

by Phil for Humanity
on 03/24/2008

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