When your tax return is likely the biggest monetary event of your year, considering the amount of taxes you pay, does it make sense to require every taxpayer in the country to crunch through their tax forms by April 15? Robert D. Flach weighs in:
* CPA Allan S. Boress suggests a change to the “tax season” that I have heard before over the years in his blog post "Let's Kill Tax Season Before it Kills Us" at ACCOUNTING WEB.
I have always been against this change. I am used to the 12-hour-a-day. 7-day-a-week tax filing season – and can put up with it knowing that on April 15th or so it is over – and I can work maybe 2 or 3 days a week at most the rest of the year.
I have a different point-of-view than Robert. I have a full-time job all year, and then a second one during tax season. Congress makes things more complicated every year. With the additional complication, information -- amended 1099s, K-1s, and so on -- comes in later every year. Tax season is becoming more and more a six-week death march. With so much complexity and so much money at stake, trying to do it all in such a brief window is unwise.
Of course we do plenty of extensions; without them, tax season would be impossible. But even getting a good extension number takes time and effort, and you have to make sure you actually mail or e-file the thing -- one more thing that can be screwed up.
Is the alternative better? I'm always glad when tax season ends, and I fear that a later due date would just extend the suffering. That's why Mr. Boress' rolling-due date proposal, based on birthdates, social security numbers, or something like that, has its attractions. Would it cause more problems than it solves? I don't know, but I think it deserves a closer look. What do you think, readers?
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