Resources for Federal Individual Income Tax Filers
March 15, 2007
Over the last century the cost of complying with the federal income tax has risen drastically, due to the ever-increasing complexity of the tax code. In 2005 Americans spent an estimated 6 billion hours complying with the federal income tax code, with an estimated compliance cost of over $265.1 billion.
From Tax Foundation Special Report No. 138, The Rising Cost of Complying with the Federal Income Tax, which examines the cost of tax compliance in 2005:
This staggering economic cost can be illustrated by comparison. The $265.1 billion tax compliance cost is greater than the revenue of Wal-Mart ($259 billion), the largest company in America. Similarly, 6 billion hours per year represents a work force of over 2,884,000 people: larger than the populations of Dallas (1,210,393), Detroit (900,198) and Washington, D.C. (553,523) combined; more people than would reside in four Congressional districts; and more people than work in the auto industry, the computer manufacturing industry, the airline manufacturing industry, and the steel industry combined.
The only remedy to this problem will be fundamental tax reform that dramatically simplifies the tax code. In the meantime, to make filling out income tax forms seem a bit less complicated and arduous, we have posted a compilation of Tax Foundation studies, Tax Policy Blog posts, podcasts, newspaper articles, government Web sites, data–and even some tax humor–on the federal individual income tax.
Click here to view the list.
Was this page helpful to you?
The Tax Foundation works hard to provide insightful tax policy analysis. Our work depends on support from members of the public like you. Would you consider contributing to our work?Contribute to the Tax Foundation
Let us know how we can better serve you!
We work hard to make our analysis as useful as possible. Would you consider telling us more about how we can do better?Give Us Feedback