• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Where Did Your Tax Dollar Go?

    Americans are waking up today to the worst “case of the Mondays” they’ll have all year: It’s Tax Day.

    Most Americans dread Tax Day, and for good reasons. Beyond the huge tab Americans pay to the government, the tax code is so complex that it’s difficult to figure out what we owe to the IRS. This is a pain for taxpayers and a huge drain on the economy.

    According to the federal Taxpayer Advocate in its 2012 report, Americans’ cost of complying with today’s complex tax code totaled $168 billion in 2010. That’s almost as large as the impact of the Obama tax hikes in fiscal year 2013, and twice the size of sequestration this year [see chart].

    It takes taxpayers 6.1 billion hours—or 51 hours per household—to complete all the required filings. That’s more than six full eight-hour working days per household!

    The compliance burden comes on top of the direct financial cost of $3.5 trillion in federal spending. In 2012, Washington collected $20,000 in taxes for every household in America. But Washington spent nearly $30,000 per household.

    Taxday_600

    Tweet this
    Share on Facebook

    Americans pay high taxes as it is, and with the 13 tax increases that hit this year, tax revenue is growing beyond its historical average as a share of the economy. But Washington’s deficits continue, because spending keeps going up.

    Future Tax Days promise to be even worse because of the tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal and from Obamacare. Taxpayers will start seeing these costs when they do their tax returns next April and in future years.

    Too much taxing and spending is bad for the nation. Americans are right to be concerned about how the President and Congress allocate their hard-earned money. As the above infographic shows, 45 percent or almost half of all spending went toward paying for Social Security and health care entitlements. Without reforming these massive and growing programs, Washington will have to borrow increasing amounts of money, piling debt onto younger generations and putting the nation on a dangerous economic course.

    Growing government spending threatens current and future taxpayers with higher taxes. Congress should reduce spending and prevent any more tax increases. Congress also needs to reform the tax code so it is less of a burden on the American people.

    Tax day is a real drag, but it doesn’t have to be this bad. Learn more at savingthedream.org.

    Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×