WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says the nation's tax law is so thick and complicated that businesses and individuals spend more than 6 billion hours a year complying with filing requirements. That's the equivalent of 3 million people working full-time, year-round.
As a result, about 90 percent of filers will either pay a tax preparer or use a computer software service to help file their federal tax returns this spring.
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson ranks complexity as the most serious tax problem facing taxpayers and the IRS in her annual report to Congress on Wednesday.
Momentum is building in Congress to overhaul the tax code for the first time since 1986. But Washington's divided government has yet to show it can successfully tackle such an issue.
President Barack Obama and Republican leaders in Congress say they are onboard, though they have rarely seen eye to eye on tax policy. They struggled mightily just to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff, passing a bill that makes relatively small changes to the nation's tax laws, compared to a major overhaul.
"Our broken tax code has become a nightmare of loopholes and special interest provisions that create added complexities and costs for hardworking taxpayers and small businesses," said Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the tax-writing House and Ways and Means Committee. "Comprehensive tax reform will make sure everyone is playing by the same rules, and help businesses create more jobs and invest in their workers."
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Detectives are investigating a homicide that occurred in the East End of Newport News Tuesday night.
The Northampton County Sheriff's Office is looking for the person who broke into a garage and stole a family pet.
The debate over a methadone clinic reached Portsmouth City Council Chambers Tuesday night. Several residents are against the planned location of the clinic near I.C. Norcom High School.
A Chesapeake music teacher could rub elbows with celebrities and bring home a Grammy next year.
A Suffolk man told police a 3 ton HVAC system was stolen from his property sometime last week.
A Newport News mother was arrested in York County for drug charges while she was with her children, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.
A 46-year-old Suffolk man was charged after police say he sexually assaulted a woman at the Smithfield Foods packing plant.