Wednesday, June 29, 2016


When I was born the 1040 form for filing an individual income tax return sported 54 lines over its two pages and the instruction booklet paired with it was 20 pages long.  By 2015, the form grew to 79 lines over two pages, and its accompanying instructions expanded to 105 pages in length.


Especially when you consider that when the 1040 was first introduced, in 1913 with the passing of the 16th Amendment, it boasted 31 lines over three pages, with a single additional page for instructions. After specific exemptions were taken, a tax rate of 1 percent applied to those making over (in 2015 dollars) $72,000. Higher earners making over (approximately, in 2015 dollars) $400,000 paid an additional 1 percent in tax.

The 1040 form and instruction booklet plus common attachments used to be mailed to every taxpayer every year, a policy only recently discontinued in 2009.

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This message brought to you by the weird dude poring over a blank 1040 form and saying, “Gee, I wonder …”

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