April 15 – or April 18 this year due to Emancipation Day scheduling – is one of those dates that’s simply synonymous with a particular event, representing Tax Day like Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 do Christmas and New Year’s, respectively. The glaring difference is that we approach this IRS holiday with foreboding – images of audits and unpaid liabilities dancing in our heads rather than sugar-plums. Such concerns, embedded in our DNA since Revolutionary times, are also well-justified – considering that we collectively fork over $1.62 trillion to Uncle Sam each year and spend 6.1 billion hours making sure our payments are proper.
The U.S. tax landscape has also changed a great deal in recent years, with returns becoming predominantly electronic, the IRS budget again swelling after five years of shrinkage and the tax code ballooning to 5-times the number of words in the Bible or 2-times the entire “Game of Thrones” series. With that in mind, we decided to take a closer look at what the contemporary U.S. taxpayer faces each April, highlighting the most interesting statistics related to how we prepare, pay and process taxes. We also interviewed a panel of leading experts on matters relating to both tax policy and practicality, and you can check out their insights below.
With Tax Day less than a week away, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its Tax Day 2016 By The Numbers report, which features an infographic filled with fun facts as well as insights from a panel of leading tax experts.
You can find a handful of highlights below:
- 30.5 Minutes: Wait time for calls to the IRS in 2015.
- 62%: Of calls went unanswered in 2015.
- 6.1 Billion Hours: Time it takes Americans to do their taxes each year (16 hours per person).
- 35%: Of taxpayers would rather discuss xxx with their kids than do their taxes.
- 27%: Of Americans would get an IRS tattoo to avoid taxes for life.
- 700%+: Increase in tax-related identity theft cases since 2010.
- 23%: Decrease in IRS enforcement staff since 2010.
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