It’s Time for a Serious Conversation about a Flat Tax

Every now and then, I learn something that truly makes me wonder if there is any common sense left in the world.  A situation like that occurred last week.

Our auditors and tax accountants were in for field work.  They asked questions about our parking lots.  The latest tax changes make employee parking a non-deductible expense.  Translation: we have to allocate rent from our facilities to parking that we do not charge our employees for.  That is an expense we do not get to deduct anymore.  In other words, it is a stealth tax increase.  It is also a colossal waste of resources.  Our staff had to allocate time to figure out how many parking spots we have for employees, that I paid for.  Our accountants have another form to fill out, that I paid for.   The IRS has another form to process that we all pay for.  What it really demonstrates is that every tax bill offers permanent employment for attorneys, accountants, lobbyists, and government bureaucrats.

In the real world, simplification is rewarded.  Car companies became more profitable when they bundled popular option choices together instead of letting consumers choose options ala carte.  Retailers, both bricks and mortar and online, try to make transactions as frictionless as possible.  Only in the bizarre world of anything the government is involved with (taxes, healthcare, education) is obfuscation rewarded.  Let’s start with the tax system.  It is time to have a real discussion about a flat tax system.  Simplify, simplify, simplify.

If you have insomnia, click on the links below to read more about this ridiculousness.

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-issues-guidance-for-determining-nondeductible-amount-of-parking-fringe-expenses-and-unrelated-business-taxable-income-provides-penalty-relief-to-tax-exempt-organizations

https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2018/dec/irs-guidance-qtf-benefits-parking-201820258.html

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