Tax Preparer Lobbyist Help to Keep Tax Filing Complicated
Filing your taxes each year is not a simple or easy task, and if you are like many Americans, you dread the coming of April. Filling out complicated tax forms takes about 10 to 15 hours. To avoid the trouble and hassle, the majority of Americans opt to have a professional tax service do it for them. When calling attention to and addressing this issue, you might feel tempted to point your fingers towards the Internal Revenue Service, but this is not where the problem originates. But before we discover the root of the problem, it’s important to demonstrate how easy tax preparation could be.
Tax Preparation Outside The U.S
In other countries, such as Spain and Sweden, citizens have little involvement in the process of filing and mailing tax returns. Their employers handle most of the complex and challenging tasks and send the government pay stubs and bank account details. The government then sends each citizen a completed and prefilled form. At this point, you are likely asking why the tax preparation process is not that simple or quick here in America. When you consider that the U.S government has easy access to your yearly salary information, this is an interesting question.
U.S Tax Process
The same simple and easy tax preparation process could be implemented here, but it hasn’t been. Attempts have been made to make it easier for American citizens to handle their taxes, but they were not successful. This failure was no mistake; special interest groups are putting in their best effort to keep the tax process as complicated as possible. H&R Block is one example of a company that has spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress to prevent the implementation of a “return-free” tax system. When you consider that tax preparation is a billion-dollar industry, the reason they want the tax process to remain complicated becomes clear.
Is Change Possible
Several members of the Democratic Party are making an effort to change the way tax preparation is handled in the United States. A new bill has been introduced that would require the government to send out tax return documents that contain basic wage and salary information. Next, each citizen would only be required to enter any eligible deductions, such as medical expenses or college fees. But if history has taught us anything, this bill will be met with opposition. In fact, members of the Republican Party, such as Grover Norquist, are already moving to have the bill thrown out. Although efforts for change are being made, it is unlikely we will experience simple and easy tax preparation anytime soon.
While tax preparation is not complex or challenging in other countries, American citizens are still required to complete hours of complicated tax forms each year. Although you might feel tempted to blame the Internal Revenue Service, tax preparation companies are the ones at fault. A quick and easy tax process would cause them to lose out on a billion-dollar industry. Attempts are being made to fix the system, but it would not be wise to get your hopes up. The survival of H&R Block is on the line, and they will fight to the death to defend their gold mine.