U. S. INCOME TAX LAWS ARE TOO COMPLICATED!
As published by Robert M. Mendell in Newsletter for Houston
Chapter of Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (June
As a tax law attorney in public practice and a licensed
certified public accountant, I have a favorite fantasy at this time of year. In
this fantasy, I refuse to prepare tax returns and, instead, instruct my clients
to send their tax returns to their Congressman for preparation. Possibly it's an
idea whose time has come.
The large collection of U.S. tax volumes and treaties in my
office library symbolizes, in large part, the basis of this fantasy. The "core"
Two volumes of the Internal Revenue Code (2,754 pages of
Four volumes of Treasury Regulations (10,389 pages of small
The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 (ERTA)(490 pages of text
The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982
(TEFRA)(527 pages of text and explanation)
The Tax Reform Act of 1984 (428 pages of text and
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (620 pages of test and
The Revenue Act of 1987 (329 pages of text and
The Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988
(TAMRA)(1,328 pages of text and explanation)
The Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1989 (368 pages of text and
My office library also contains three walls of tax
interpretive materials. A stack of these books on their backs easily reaches a
height of 165 feet, and as can be imagined, the arduous task of comprehending
and interpreting the legislation and regulations currently comprising our income
tax system is tremendous.