Why is the us tax system so complicated?

When asked why the U.S. tax system is much more complicated than other countries' tax systems, Schenk replied that we are a very sophisticated and complex economy and that requires a very sophisticated tax system. And the other reason is attributable to incentives. A citizen's guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the American tax system.

Our tax system could be simple if its sole purpose was to increase revenues. However, it has other objectives, such as fairness, efficiency and applicability. And Congress has used the tax system to influence social policy, as well as to offer benefits to specific groups and industries. Almost everyone agrees that the current tax system is too complicated, but almost every year the system becomes more complex, not less.

Why? Fiscal simplicity almost always conflicts with other political objectives. For example, the simplest and least distorting tax is an initial tax, a fixed tax in dollars for everyone. However, a head tax would be unfair, since it would not take into account differences in income and the needs of individuals, families and businesses. Most people believe that taxes should be fair, conducive to economic prosperity and enforceable, as well as simple.

But even people who agree with these goals often disagree about the relative importance of each. As a result, policies often represent a balance between competing objectives, and simplicity often loses ground to other priorities. For example, most countries adapt tax burdens to the characteristics of individual taxpayers. That can make taxes fairer, but more complex.

Revenues must be tracked from companies to individuals. Individual characteristics, such as marital status and number of dependents, as well as the composition of expenses or income, must be declared and documented. These contradictory objectives seem to be especially relevant in the current tax code, where the desire to reduce tax burdens for particular groups has added significant complexity. Interest groups and, therefore, politicians support tax subsidies.

And these specific subsidies inevitably complicate the tax system by creating distinctions between taxpayers with different sources and uses of income. The current tax law was not enacted all at once, but is the result of numerous provisions added or subtracted on several tax bills. Congress often designs legislation under self-imposed restrictions, such as short-term revenue goals or effects on the distribution of tax burdens among income groups. The result is that tax incentives are often designed in complex ways to limit revenue losses or benefits for high-income taxpayers or to prevent them from being used by unwanted beneficiaries.

The annual reports of the National Taxpayer Ombudsman have presented proposals to simplify the tax code, including reforms to education incentives, retirement incentives, child benefits and the alternative minimum tax. It's probably not surprising that most Americans consider the current federal tax system to be complex, incomprehensible, and unfair. A national survey found that the majority of Americans, about 56 percent, including a similar proportion of Democrats and Republicans, consider the tax system to be unfair. An even larger proportion, 60 percent, felt that some corporations and wealthy individuals don't pay their fair share of taxes.

According to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), most unpaid taxes are the result of tax evasion by large and wealthy corporations. No less than 55% of the largest corporations in the United States didn't pay taxes last year on billions of dollars in profits. In addition, 26 companies avoided paying any federal income taxes during the past three years. In addition, examples of very wealthy people who have paid little or no taxes in recent years are widely reported.

Import taxes, election taxes and property taxes taxes taxes on land and commercial buildings. Nearly a century later, during the United States Civil War,. It collected income taxes in 1861, which lasted about 10 years. The federal government receives tax revenues from five main sources.

The most important source, 50 percent, comes from individual income taxes. The second most important source, 36 percent, comes from payroll taxes, which go mainly to Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits. Corporate income taxes account for about 7 percent of revenue collected. Excise taxes on certain goods and activities, such as gasoline, alcohol and gambling, contribute 3 percent, and another 3 percent come from customs duties and inheritance and gift taxes.

Defense and international security received 16 percent of the budget, 8 percent went to safety net programs and 8 percent to interest on debt. The remaining 20 percent of the federal budget went to other public expenditures, including benefits for federal retirees and veterans, transportation and infrastructure, education, and scientific and medical research. In addition, tax rates vary considerably depending on the source of income. Ordinary income from work is taxed at a much higher rate than income from dividends and investments.

Consequently, the tax code's favourable treatment of dividends and capital gains benefits those who increase their wealth, mainly through investment, who pay relatively little tax. It is widely recognized that the United States,. The federal tax code is complex, labyrinthine, and endless. The tax code, or Title 26 of the laws enforced by the IRS, includes no less than 2,600 pages or more than 1 million words.

However, much of the tax code law also includes IRS regulations, income rulings, clarifications, court decisions, annotations and other information that together amount to a collection of 70,000 pages. Most Americans would like the United States,. The tax code must be much simpler and more understandable, with fewer Byzantine loopholes, cunning tax havens and devious mechanisms for tax evasion, which especially favor the rich. It is also very important that Americans want a tax system that is fair, in which large corporations and wealthy individuals pay their fair share of tax liabilities, which is certainly not the case today in the United States.

Joseph Chamie is a consulting demographer, former director of the United Nations Population Division and author of numerous publications on population issues, including his recent book, “Births, Deaths, Migrations and Other Important Population Matters”. To date, the tax preparation industry has kept the system complicated because the potential cost to it in terms of lost revenue is enormous. The fact that tax credits have a significant advantage in public opinion over direct government programs results in a tax code that cannot be reduced or simplified, as well as a continuous incentive for policymakers to increase complexity by including new social programs. in the Tax Code.

And in a recent Pew Research survey, 73% of Americans said they were annoyed, at least “a little,” by the complexity of the tax code, much more than the size of their own tax bill. One argument made by business tax preparers is that taxpayers will miss out on valuable tax savings if they rely on free government preparation. In fact, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, the tax preparation software, cites government tax preparation as a threat to its business model. In 1985, President Ronald Reagan promised a “no-return” tax system in which half of Americans would never fill out a tax return again.

Economists and tax experts have long condemned the complexity of the tax code as inefficient, inequitable and full of opportunities for evasion. These include the phasing out of certain high-income tax benefits, multiple incentives for higher education and retirement savings, multiple benefits for taxpayers with dependents with different definitions of eligibility, and a completely separate tax list, the minimum tax individual alternative, which applies to certain taxpayers who use selected tax preferences. Unfortunately, the anti-tax contingent's desire to force Americans to spend time and money preparing taxes coincides with the desire of the tax preparation industry to collect billions of dollars in taxes. Tax system, I see the costly and slow U.S.

tax filing system as a result of its relationship with the commercial tax preparation industry, which pressures Congress to maintain the status quo. The families that benefit most from federal social tax subsidies also deeply support them, because many of the major tax subsidies benefit the wealthiest and comparatively safer Americans, to important constituencies that vote, volunteer and donate with frequency of political campaigns. . .

Janis Urso
Janis Urso

Passionate zombie specialist. Unapologetic social media evangelist. Infuriatingly humble pop culture maven. Lifelong bacon lover. Wannabe web nerd. Incurable social media geek.

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