17 April 2006

Tax Law Writers Turn to Pros Come April

There are a lot of things that I could say on this tax day. Many others are opining on the state of the system, or just hurrying to get last minute filings in. But I think this AP article (via Forbes) says everything I could say. Let's hear how easy the tax system is from those that are responsible for writing the tax law.

"It's onerous and everybody knows it," said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.

Three of the four top lawmakers on the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees, which are in charge of writing tax laws, pay a professional to file their annual tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service.

So, three of the top four tax law writers can't even figure out the garbage their committee spits out on a regular basis. Ways and Means Chairman Thomas (R-CA) is the only one that actually does his own return (surprising since he blasted lobbyists for complicating the tax law when doing his job).

One of the favorites to take over Ways and Means had an interesting answer when asked if he does his own returns.

"Absolutely not," said Rep. Jim McCrery, R-La. "I'm not an accountant. I'm a lawyer."

Gee, you think that's any reason why the Code is so freakin' complicated and gets more so every year that industry targeted tax cuts are passed? (cue Thomas) Get accountants on the tax writing committees! Make tax law writers do their own taxes before voting on any tax legislation!

As long as we have people that pay someone else to do their taxes writing the law, we'll never see an easier system. For these guys the system is easy: hand the documents your assistants prepared to the accountant (well, actually the mailroom guy will) and sign the return when he's done. What's easier than that?

Oh, and happy Tax Return Day!

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