Americans spend too much time, money and energy each year trying to understand and follow the tax code
By Fichtner’s estimate, the total economic loss (the costs of complying, lobbying and changed behavior) from the tax code may be up to a trillion dollars per year. And that was before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 caused new confusion for many filers. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images file photo)
OPINION — Washington, D.C., frequently gets wrapped up in debates over the tax code. Proposals for new wealth taxes, changes to marginal tax rates, or adjusting the estate tax capture the imagination of policy wonks. But such discussions often overlook the most important aspect of these policies — how the tax code is administered.
In practice, these administrative issues could make or break any attempt at reform, as well as the tax code as a whole. In a new paper for the Bipartisan Policy Center released today, Bill Gale, Jeff Trinca and I point to three fundamental issues with our tax system.