Tax Day Post: A criticism of the flat-tax

This article isn’t great, but it’s still fairly interesting to read someone criticizing the flat tax idea as something that’s not radical enough. The only reason I felt the article was blogworthy were a number of points/quotations made near the beginning.

The US tax code — with its “nine million word mountain of verbiage” — is so complex and “littered with impenetrable passages” that a fictional tax return given by Money magazine to forty-five tax preparers resulted in forty-five different calculations of the correct amount of tax due. This is not surprising since IRS employees (Forbes says that there are 97,440 of them) don’t even give the same answers to tax questions. Forbes mentions a 2003 Treasury Department study which found that callers to the IRS toll-free help lines “gave the wrong answers to tax-related questions more than 25 percent of the time.”

Regardless of one’s take on an appropriate level of taxation, I’d assume most people agree the current tax system is amazingly screwed up. Stats like that are almost unsurprising.