July 16, 2018

kvetching

Kvetching About the Complexity of the Income Tax Is Nearly a Century-old Tradition

Joseph Thorndike writes over at Tax.com that bitching about the burdensome nature of income tax is as old-fashioned as plutocrats wearing top hats.

In 1915, Chicago lawyer Charles H. Hamill of Rosenthal & Hamill made headlines with some vigorous complaints about the new income tax, then less than two years old. The law, he said, was “the worst piece of legislative draftsmanship I have ever seen placed upon a statute book anywhere.” Indeed, it was very nearly incomprehensible:

“It is so complicated that it is utterly impossible to understand its meaning save by consulting a palmist.”

So as you can see, things haven’t really changed. To this day, whether you’re paying a lawyer, CPA or palm reader for your time, you walk out more confused than when you walked in and you definitely don’t feel like you got your money’s worth.

Think Taxes are Too Complicated? They Thought So in 1915, Too [Tax.com]