Monday, April 14, 2003

Tax-Me Driver

A couple of readers have taken me to task on my post below about “the new poll tax.” They point out that the sheer annoyance of having to fill out tax forms might be sufficient to mobilize votes for politicians in favor of tax simplification. As Chuck argues:
However, you forget that for many people--perhaps almost everyone--the big annoyance of paying taxes is the massive amount of time and the collosal invasion of privacy that occurs while they're paying. No one likes to pay large amounts of money for anything, be it a college education or taxes, but it's the sheer idea of making it DIFFICULT to fork over your money that makes taxpaying so instinctively odious.
Makes sense to me, though I’m still not sure it outweighs the other factors I mentioned. In my case, filling out the forms is a pain in the ass *and* I never get a refund, so it’s hard for me to say how much of my annoyance is attributable to each source. I suspect the people who pay few or no taxes (a surprisingly large number) are also the people whose taxes are simplest. Your taxes start to get seriously complicated when your income either is relatively large or comes from multiple sources. But hey, I could be wrong.

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