Posted: Oct 17, 2005 By: Lawrence J. Goldstein


Comment: 1
This week I will mail my 2004 Federal income Tax return and my New York State
Income Tax return as well.
It is not as though I did not pay up timely. I did. In fact I overpaid my
Federal Income Tax by some 9% last April. The reason II filed for an extension
is being a human being I could not complete the returns by April 15. It was
PHSICALLY impossible to do. Mind you NOT Fiscally but Physically. And note I
did pay up and by more than the full amount it has turned out I owed.
WHY you say couldn't I have filed timely? Well I only have one brain two
eyes And two hands that is why and it was an impossibility.
First all the info required could not be provide to me by various other filers
months in advance of April 15. They had some of the same issues and reasons I
Allow me to explain in part.
MY tax return Federal only was 118 pages long. I provided all the input to my
accountant to do the job after I just plain gave up trying to fill in all the
blanks, do all the algebra and arithmetic (higher mathematics you should know
was a breeze for me in college and graduate school and I make my living
analyzing and manipulating numbers as well) and I had to wait on other who had
to do the same thing which cause them to also ask for an extension from the
The bottom line is I could not complete my Tax return myself and my accountant
could also not without my inputs and without a special expensive piece of
computer software which I end up paying for you can be sure.
My tax return COST ME $43 a page to complete. That is what my accountant
charged. He didn't charge by the page, but by the time involved. But I
can't measure his time, only the pages he gave me and the total fee he charged me.
MY accountant is honest, smart, meticulous, scrupulously honest, very diligent and
hard working and a very pleasant chap. He made a few "mistakes" with my
return...oh not errors of the kind where a wrong number was put in a wrong
space, though there is plenty of room for any person with the attributes I
attributed above to my accountant to do that too. The "errors" had to do with
deductions I did not realize I could take and therefore had not provided information
about. This was despite the fact that I have read the tax code, reviewed the tax return
forms and read about 2000 articles on taxes in the press and other learned, helpful places
including the IRS own tax return booklet, which I defy you to fully and completely
If I could merely fill out a postage card size tax return with name, address and all income
from all sources, and pay a tax on that, I would be the happiest person on earth Well
maybe just one of the happiest. For a hundred million other Americans would probably
be happy too (except for those millions of persons employed in the industries that are
provided employment by this IRS stuff).
If we all just had a postage size tax return, we would need only a microcosm of the
present IRS employees, no accountants, no accounting software firms, no mounds of
paper and envelopes, and all that record keeping, receipt saving, diary entries and G-d
knows what else we would need none of. All of which I can't even waste my time
thinking about anymore.
One thing we would all HAVE is MORE TIME to do productive an enjoyable things.
valuable to me -- I am about to be 70 and so I shan't have too much more of it. Isn't yours
to you?
I wondered, as I dumped my certified, return receipt envelope intro the mail box (it was
recommended that I pay an extra few bucks for certified/return receipt mail not 37 cents
to mail the darn thing, but many dollars -- ugh! -- adding insult to injury -- in order to be
able to make certain that I could prove (a) that I sent the return, and (b) that I did so
timely, lest IRS accuse me of being dishonest and sending it "late" or heaven forbid, not
sent it at all) --- how much time the poor fellows and gals, at the IRS Omaha destination
of my return, were going to have to spend reading the darn 118 page "book". More waste
of human time effort and of ones life to be sure!
The remedy for this would be a post card sized tax return and a single flat
income tax. It would be a boom to the economy and to me, and you, and every
American who dreads filling out an income tax form, and preparing all year round to do
it, and would save us all the hundreds and more hundreds of hours required to work every
detail into the likes of tax returns, of as many as my 118 pages, and lots more for many I
am sure, as well as the many who have the "good fortune" to make a filing in a lot fewer
We hear from the IRS that the average person has to spend about a business week of time
on the tax return. Frankly I do not believe the IRS about this "fact" because I spent many
months dealing with the return if you factor in all the entries and records and slips
of paper I, and you too, must keep year round, for so called "tax day".
I urge you to work to throw out the US Tax Code and replace it with a Flat Income Tax.
You state how much you made from what sources and you pay x% on that. Period! It will
save time, money, aggravation and be a boon to the economy.
I endorse the attached editorial from the Wall Street Journal which expresses my
sentiments 10,000%.
Will you?