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Rooney: The Trouble With Taxes

<B>Andy Rooney</B> Has Some Thoughts About Filing Your Taxes

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney.
I finally sent in my income tax Friday.

I should have gone to church this morning to pray that they don't audit it.

When I was in school, we had to memorize the multiplication tables up to 12 X 12, so I know a little about numbers, but I could no more fill out my own income tax form than I could be the new pope.

Our income tax laws are a disgrace. It is simply wrong that they are so hard to understand that most people cannot do their own tax. They say the average taxpayer spends 29 hours doing his taxes, but I don't believe that. The average person does not do his own tax.

The people who wrote the tax laws must be in business with H&R Block. I have a fairly honest accountant, but I paid him more to do my taxes this year than I paid the government 20 years ago.

It's wrong. We should not have to get an accountant to figure our taxes.

The Internal Revenue Code Volume I and Volume II is made up of 7,283 impenetrable pages of tax laws. It's a bad joke.

Here's one of the shorter paragraphs on Form 6251: The Alternative Minimum Tax. It says "ALL OTHERS: If line 30 is $175,000 or less ($87,500 or less if married filing separately) multiply line 30 by 26 percent. Otherwise multiply line 30 by 28 percent and subtract $3,500 ($1,750 if married filing separately) from the result."

I multiplied line 30 by 26 percent and got line 7.80

You can believe me or not, but I don't mind paying my tax. We got a good country to live in and we pool our money to pay for things we can't do for ourselves like government, police, schools, health services and our Army and Navy.

I honestly think that most Americans do not resent paying their tax as long as they think the people next door are paying their fair share.

What I do resent are stupid tax forms that are badly written and impossible to understand. I hope the IRS agent looking at my tax return understands I'm just kidding.

And one more thing. I didn't mean to keep you in suspense about this, but ... 12 x 12 is 144.
Written By Andy Rooney