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IRS head needs tax help

By Kay Bell · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Posted: 5 pm ET

About had it with your taxes? Frustrated by the tax code? Hey, you are so not alone.

In fact, you're in pretty good company. The head of the Internal Revenue Service himself has admitted to finding the tax code "complex." Yep, you've got to love Commissioner Doug Shulman's ability for understatement.

Shulman's personal filing revelation came during an interview on C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" earlier this year.

In response to the question (at 10:27 into the half-hour program) as to whether he filed his own 1040s, Shulman said: "I use a preparer. I've used one for years. I find it convenient and I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer." 

There you have it. The man who runs the agency that handles all our tax returns knows the legislation that keeps him employed is complex.

Of course, the next question was what would the commish suggest as far as making the tax code less complex? Shulman's answer: "I don't write the tax laws; Congress writes the tax laws. That's a whole different different discussion."

He's correct. The IRS administers the laws that representatives and senators create. But his office does have the responsibility of making the regulations that arise from the laws, as well as the forms and publications we use to comply with them, as user-friendly as possible.

In my almost 30 years of tracking taxes, the IRS has improved greatly in this regard. But there's still a lot of work to do, both on Capitol Hill and at the IRS office.

If you want to join the commissioner in using a tax pro, Bankrate has the scoop on the types or pros from which to choose, as well as tips on how to pick the pro who's perfect for you and your taxes.

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2 Comments
uk
April 12, 2010 at 11:18 pm

No wonder current US Secretary of the Treasury made a "mistake" in his tax return. Well! IRS calls it tax evasion when public does it, they call it "mistake" when govt official does it.
You decide: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123258571706004547.html

Terry Rigg
April 08, 2010 at 6:42 am

Complex! Calling that an understatement is an understatement in itself. I've been preparing taxes since 1963 and have watched tax filing turn into a nightmare. There is absolutely no reason millions of people should be subjected to this annual drill.

We need to eliminate the income tax by repealing the 16th amendment, abolish the IRS and make the Fair Tax law NOW!