U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) released the following statement on today's release of the National Taxpayer Advocate's 2012 Annual Report to Congress:
"Today's report underscores the need for broad, comprehensive tax reform that will make the code more fair, more simple, and less costly for Americans who are increasingly forced to rely on paid professionals to help them file their tax returns.
"The cost to navigate and comply with the tax code adds an unnecessary burden on American businesses and families, who spend, combined, more than 6.1 billion hours to complete their tax filings each year. That's a colossal waste of time, money, and resources that could be better spent on efforts to grow our economy and prepare for the future."
Key findings from the report include:
For 2010, the Taxpayer Advocate estimated that it cost individual and corporate taxpayers $168 billion to comply with the code.
Today's tax code contains almost four million words.
On average, more than one new tax provision is added to the tax code each day.
Roughly nine out of 10 Americans rely on paid professionals or commercial software to prepare their tax returns (nearly 60 percent of taxpayers hire paid preparers; another 30 percent use software).
In 2000, (the most recent tax year for which the Taxpayer Advocate found data), taxpayers spent about 18 million hours completing and filling out Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) tax forms to determine whether they owed the tax, leading the Advocate to suggest repeal of the AMT.
In other tax-related news, the Internal Revenue Service announced yesterday that it will begin accepting 2012 tax returns on January 30, eight days later than planned because of changes to tax law in the fiscal cliff deal Congress passed last week.
Please see the attached press release for further information.