Why tax season is such a mess and how to change it

An author explains why America’s tax system became overcomplicated, how it got to be this way, and possible reforms.

Why is tax season in the United States so difficult? In many places around the world, the government makes tax completion much simpler for its citizens.

One key issue is money, with citizens in many other countries providing funding for their government’s tax services branches at much higher rates than in America. In some places, tax auditors are even held in high regard.

But here in America, we have an overcomplicated system that doesn’t appear to be getting any less so.

“The IRS estimates that the average American family spends about $250 a year just to figure out how much they owe the government.” — T.R. Reid, author, lecturer and documentary filmmaker.


Listen: Why doing your taxes in America is so hard.

 


Guest

T.R. Reid is a lecturer, documentary filmmaker and author of the book “A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Fairer, Simpler, and More Efficient Tax Code.” He says Americans spend way too much time just figuring out how much they owe the government each year.

“The problem is, it’s time consuming and expensive,” says Reid. “The IRS estimates that the average American family spends about $250 a year just to figure out how much they owe the government.”

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