Aren’t We in 2021?

Our accounting firm finished our business tax returns last week.  I printed out 1,078 sheets of paper to mail to five jurisdictions in which we operate and are subject to filing tax returns.  These jurisdictions, which include the technologically advanced havens of California and Massachusetts, require paper copies of their returns along with your federal return to be mailed to them.  Fortunately, several enlightened jurisdictions, predominantly located in flyover country, allow us to e-file, thus eliminating printing and mailing obscene amounts of paper.  When I talked to one of our accountants, she reminded me how much worse it used to be, when no jurisdictions accepted electronic tax filings. 

I wonder if anyone actually reads these monstrous tax returns.  My guess is the first thing the recipient does is have someone scan the file into their database so they do not have to store all the paper!  Efficiency at work. 

What can be digitized is being digitized. Even government entities will eventually catch up to trends that started decades ago.  Economic friction used to be a source of profits in the economy.  Those profit streams have been replaced by companies whose products and services reduce economic friction.  As I have written in the past, the more friction you reduce, the more money you can make.  For government entities, instead of trying to raise revenues (i.e. raise taxes), think about making your tax filing and collection system a little more efficient.  The private sector has made itself more efficient.  Now it’s your turn.   

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