Douwe Osinga's Blog: Simpler Taxes

Sunday, March 11, 2007

It is that time of the year again (though to be honest I usually don't get around it until much later): the tax man cometh. The only worse than paying taxes, is not paying taxes, said I guess Mark Twain, but it could have been Oscar Wilde as always with these witty things. It seems though that to a lot of people it is not paying the taxes that is really annoying, it is doing the taxes. Why is that?

I think it is because the government forces you to do work that will only lead to you giving money to them. That's just not right. Sure you can take an accountant (and in some countries you're pretty much forced to), but now I am paying somebody to do work so that I can give money to the government. It seems there is a simple solution here: the government should provide us with accountants that work as hard as they can to reduce our tax bill.

This would have many advantages: it would make paying taxes less annoying, which can only be good. It would also allow the poorer people to take advantages of the loopholes in the tax laws. But mostly it would give the government a strong incentive to make tax laws simpler. See, right now there is no real draw back for a law maker to make taxes more complex: It is you and me who have to do the work or pay the accountat to do the work. If we make the government feel the true cost of complex taxes by having them provide accountants, they migth do something about it.