William Thien

Three Tax Preparers, Three Different Results

Posted on: March 21, 2016

For quite some time now I’ve been talking about how unfair and complex the tax code is. Some essays have been well received such as America’s Unfair Tax Code and The Brown Headed Cowbird or other observations suggesting that the tax code is a form of economic genocide and indentured servitude, particularly for singles with no children or property. I provide examples and often use my own circumstances to support my position.

Here is another rather blatant example of how overly complex the tax code is and this might unsettle you a bit if you haven’t completed your taxes, yet. First, let me preface this observation with the fact that aside from the overly zealous tax collector, I don’t forsake The I.R.S. for pursuing taxes. The tax code originates in the elected body and The I.R.S. is merely tasked with enforcing it, sometimes perhaps a bit too energetically. If we have a gripe about the level of taxation, it must be directed at our elected officials to bring relief.

With that said, I recently completed my taxes. I use an online web site that we’ve all heard of and I’ve been using it for a number of years. My taxes aren’t overly complicated in and of themselves and I’ve had fairly decent success completing my taxes using the web site. This year I had some income that was unexpected and I was not quite certain how to treat it. So, not only did I use the online web site, which is free for federal taxes, I went into one of the offices associated with the web site and had an accountant (C.P.A.) complete my taxes. I also had a friend do them who is an accomplished accountant. I was interested in getting the best outcome and hoped that one would be better than the other.

What I discovered upon receipt of the results from my friend the accountant astonished me. All three of methods achieved completely different results. When I showed the taxes completed at the office of the online service to the accountant friend of mine, he concluded that they were completed correctly. The results from the office associated with the online service did not provide a return and instead required that I send a check to The US Treasury and to my state department of revenue, which I’ve done already of course. My accountant friend believed the taxes he completed himself were done correctly as well. The only method that provided a return was the online version of taxes.


The tax code is overly complex. The tax code is in fact blatantly unfair and unnecessarily complex. The tax code needs to be simplified and restructured.

Not one candidate is talking about the tax code during the primary season. Not one. Coincidence?

No, it’s not a coincidence because not one of them plans on doing anything about the tax code. Keep that in mind when you go to the ballot box, especially if you are single.

Copyright © William Thien 2016

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