Something needs to be done now! Tonight I will be composing my next letter to my congressmen! I've been doing my own taxes since I was 18 years old. It's not rocket science... No, rocket science is logical. There are some people in the world that actually understand rocket science. I don't of anyone that understands our tax system.
Last year I filed a joint return. This year I'm filing a separate return. I wondered, should I prorate our state refund for each of us, or do I need to report the entire amount under one social security number? What about other joint income / expense? Simple question, I thought...
I called the IRS; go straight to the source, right? After listening the the music long enough to become drowsy, I finally got to talk to someone whose job it was to put me on hold. Apparently she didn't understand my question. I held for the wrong department, I explained my situation, I held some more, I explained my situation again... After finally reaching the correct department for my very difficult question, I was once again put on hold while the agent researched the tax laws. Maybe I should have googled my question.
When the agent finally returned, he was no more informed than when he pushed the hold button. Again he had me hold while he asked someone else...
At this point, well maybe before this point, I wondered what the criteria was for landing one of these IRS jobs. Ability to speak on the phone and read? Evidently, tax experts only work in law offices.
After consulting the tax law documents and the guy at the next desk, the agent determined I should probably prorate the amounts, or however I wanted to do it. Gee, I'm glad I called and got this cleared up!
I am still in shock that my question was considered difficult. I have such a simple tax situation, really. Yes, I itemize. But aside from the 1040 & Schedule A, I don't require any other forms. Should I have to pay someone several hundred dollars to answer that one question? I believe that the average citizen should be able to complete their income tax forms without assistance. I wish I didn't have the option of filing jointly or separately. I feel that itself is unfair - that we have to take the time to figure our returns both ways to see which one is better for us.
I'm thinking about just paying the extra taxes to simplify the process and not have to worry about kicking up an audit. If our current system is so confusing that the people explaining it to us don't understand it, isn't it time we ripped it up and started over?