At the Internal Revenue Service, ever helpful...

OUR FRIENDS

March 03, 1992

OUR FRIENDS at the Internal Revenue Service, ever helpful, included in tax booklets this season a box listing the time it believes it takes to complete and file its various forms. Since these are reputed to be average times for each chore, we can assume that for many of us who fumbled through grade-school arithmetic that the task will take considerably longer.

To assemble the documents, fill out and file the plain, old 1040 form will take a grand total of 9 hours and 43 minutes. Add in the ubiquitous Schedules A and B and you have consumed 13 hours and 34 minutes of your time -- on average.

That's the equivalent of leaving your home at 7:30 in the morning and devoting every moment until 9 o'clock that night to the IRS. A full day shot to smithereens. Add on Schedule C to your chores, and you are up to over 23 hours. That equates to devoting all of your waking hours and most of your sleeping hours to the IRS. That's one day we'd just as soon forget.

Wouldn't it be simpler if Uncle Sam could just let us know what our tax obligations will be, send us an invoice and let us mail in a check? It would free up a full day's worth of energy that American taxpayers could then use to improve their productivity.

After all, we can't compete with the Japanese if we're spending our extra moments each March and April slaving over IRS tax forms.

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