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Camp: Taxpayer Advocate Report Reaffirms Need for Tax Reform

January 05, 2011

“Today’s Taxpayer Advocate report echoes what families and employers have long said: the tax code is too complex, which makes compliance too time-consuming and too costly.  In the 112th Congress, the Ways and Means Committee will focus on developing a simpler and streamlined tax code.  I look forward to having a serious and thoughtful dialogue with the American people about broad-based tax reform that will allow families to thrive and employers to create jobs.”

According to the report, complexity of the tax code is “the most serious problem facing taxpayers — and the IRS.”  Specifically, the report noted that:

  • The tax code contained approximately 700,000 words in 1975, 1.4 million words in 2001, 2.1 million words in 2005, and 3.8 million words today.
  • In the past decade, there have been about 4,428 changes to the tax code — averaging more than one each day — including about 579 changes in 2010 alone.
  • In 2008 alone, taxpayers spent $163 billion complying with the individual and corporate income tax rules — a “staggering” 11 percent of aggregate income tax receipts.
  • The tax code’s complexity leads about 60 percent of individual taxpayers to hire others to do their tax returns – as well as 71 percent of unincorporated businesses – and an additional 29 percent of taxpayers use tax software.