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It is time to revamp our tax code and ease the workload of the IRS

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Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012 12:00 am

If you ever had any doubts about the necessity of revamping our tax code, Nina E. Olson, the National Taxpayer Advocate, furnished it in her annual report delivered to Congress on Jan. 11.

She identified the IRS' expanding workload and declining resources as the most serious problems facing taxpayers. Sharp increases in the IRS workload are due to several factors, including the increasing complexity of the tax code and the code's frequent changes.

From 2001 to 2010, there were approximately 4,430 changes to the tax code, including 579 changes in 2010 alone. The IRS must explain each new provision to the taxpayer, write computer code so it can process returns affected by the provisions and train its auditors to identify improper claims.

The IRS is charged with providing service to an increasingly diverse taxpayer population; it has an increasing responsibility for administering social and economic policies, handle a surge in refund fraud and tax-related identity issues, and implement the new third party information reporting.

Ms. Olson says that the IRS's expanding use of automated processes to adjust tax liabilities are causing harm to taxpayers. She recommends that Congress enact a comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

From what I understand, if Obama is re-elected and Obamacare is implemented, the IRS will get the job of policing it, which will mean many more employees and an increased budget.

Our tax code is a monstrosity of social engineering giving special treatment to many special interest groups. When our government is more than $15 trillion in debt and projected to raise the debt ceiling another $1.2 trillion this year, our national debt will exceed our gross national product.

America has got to quit spending more than it takes in, begin to reduce the national debt, cut useless agencies, waste, duplication of programs and get our house in order. When we borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend, we are well on the road to becoming another Greece.

Phyllis Roche

Lodi

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