Sue Perry (“Relief from the IRS,” April 18) writes that a flat-tax system would be welcome and superior to the present complex, convoluted and confusing system with which we are burdened.
Apparently, she believes it is a revenue-collecting system. It is that, but it is more a social-engineering and redistribution-of-wealth system.
The complexity is brought about by a self-contained system of credits, refundable and not refundable and a hierarchy of rates and special taxes.
It has evolved over 100 years after ratification of the 16th Amendment. And each of the years has seen Congress tinker with it to favor one group or another. Or, to penalize one kind of income earning activity over others.
The tax code is full of favoritism and taxes like the Alternative Minimum Tax to discourage too much use of the favoritism.
Every administration tweaks it a bit to attract the voters they wish to favor and to penalize others.
By the way, driving to Santa Maria for forms is passé; the entire library of forms, instructions and bulletins as well the Tax Code itself is available at http://www.irs.gov.