Flat Tax: The Fix We Need

Image courtesy of The Washington Post

It is that time of year where you give up a Saturday to sit down, sift through your finances, and figure out how much money you owe the government.  You tell yourself that it is worth giving up your weekend and the money you could spend on that vacation you have always wanted to take because the collection of taxes is a necessary evil that enables our country to run smoothly.

Taxes are important for certain areas of the economy, but the current tax system is unnecessarily burdensome and costly.  Implementing a flat tax rate would solve many of the current problems surrounding the collection of taxes.

A flat tax would streamline the process of collecting taxes.  Currently, the tax code is so complex that the average person cannot understand it.  Besides being complicated and difficult for most Americans to understand, it is expensive.  It is estimated that Americans spend $200 billion each year in taxes either by paying someone to do their taxes or from loss in productivity.

If a flat tax rate were implemented, taxes could be simplified so they could be completed efficiently and without outside help.  It would eliminate the need for the IRS, a bureau that is known for subjectively targeting specific organizations and is not cheap to operate.  Its abolishment would save the government much manpower and money.

Furthermore, the current tax code makes it easy for corporations to game the system.  Some companies use their vast resources to find loopholes in the tax code and pay less than they are actually required.  While large companies have the means to find ways to exploit the code, small businesses do not and, as a result, they are unfairly penalized by the code.

A flat tax rate would ensure that all businesses pay the same percentage.  Similarly, all Americans would pay a set percentage regardless of their income, ensuring that everyone paid a fair amount.  Families and individuals that made below a certain amount would be exempt from taxes altogether so that those in poverty would not become financially over-burdened.

Taxes might fulfill certain functions, but they do not need to be a hassle or a large expensive.  A flat tax rate would be significantly more cost effective and simple to complete.  It would cut back on crony capitalism and guarantee that all citizens paid a fair amount they can afford.

Brittany Gamlen is a junior majoring in political science. 


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