These observations are right on target, in my view.Duke2Earl wrote:.......The actual hard truth is we have the tax system we have because we want it to be that way. Nobody wants a tax system that "makes economic sense." They want a tax system they can game and dodge and has personal goodies and loopholes. No evil god came down from outer space and imposed this system on us. We got it because we wanted it. Every time we have done anything whatsoever to make the system simpler or more logical it has lasted very few years before it is worse than ever.....
Do tax lawyers and CPAs lobby for more complexity, just to keep themselves in business? I don't see very much of that. We don't need to lobby for complexity. Everyone else does that for us. Now, I'll make a confession of sorts: I'm happy about that.
As a practitioner, in a perverse sort of way I guess, I enjoy dealing with the U.S. federal tax system we have (income tax, estate tax, gift tax, etc. -- the whole thing).
While at times I feel exasperated, for the most part I enjoy the tax system -- particularly its complexity. I relish the complexity for at least four reasons.
First, because so much intellectual effort is put into creating and elaborating the "Monster" that is federal tax law -- and particularly I refer the effort by those who draft the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code -- I find the tax law to be beautiful, and I enjoy the process of regarding and appreciating that beauty. (You may consider me perverse, if you like, but be assured that I am not trying to be facetious.)
Second, I enjoy the treasure hunt. I actually enjoy digging into the Internal Revenue Code, the regs, the case law -- everything. The winding, serpentine, Byzantine obscurity of the tax law is one of the very things that attracts me to the study. I enjoy the learning process inherent in the treasure hunt, and I enjoy trying to solve the day-to-day problems that necessitate the careful study of the tax law.
Third, I enjoy the fact that many people -- even other lawyers -- who do not make a regular study of the Monster seem to regard it with fear and awe. The reputation of the formidable complexity of the tax law attracts me to it.
Fourth, I am comforted by the fact that the U.S. federal tax law is so extensive that -- apparently -- I will never become bored with engaging in its study. I will never fully master it. Absent a massive repeal and a replacement with something else -- something far less extensive and less complicated -- I will always have access to raw material that I have not yet fully studied and appreciated.