WASHINGTON — Tim Pawlenty has a simple solution for spurring Congress to reform the tax code: Make ’em do their own, without help.
“No help of an accountant, a lawyer or a tax specialist,” the presidential aspirant and former governor told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. “And if they can’t do it, we give them a certification they can go get some help. But I’d like every one of those individuals to have to do their own taxes every year and live with the mindless burdens we put on the American people.”
Pawlenty’s idea would represent a sea change on Capitol Hill, where accountants are de rigueur. An unscientific survey by The Hill just before tax day last year showed just one of 28 lawmakers surveyed did their own taxes. Most, including those who sit on committees responsible for writing the tax code, say they can’t because it’s too complicated. The only one who said he did? Wyoming GOP Sen. Mike Enzi, a former accountant.
In fact, just eight percent of Americans filled out their own tax forms without the help of an accountant or tax prep software in 2009, according to the IRS.
What about you? Do you think Pawlenty has a point? Why do you fill out your taxes the way you do?