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Inside the Beltway: Americans waste billions of hours, bucks preparing for the tax man

Tuesday marks the final day for taxpayers endeavoring to file their returns with the IRS. The occasion has prompted the National Taxpayers Union Foundation to offer some insight through research that calculates the complexity of the federal income tax code every year,

“Even though the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act simplified income tax returns for the vast majority of Americans, the tax code still imposes an immense burden on American taxpayers – the equivalent of billions of hours and billions of dollars in lost income and labor. The solution to this problem is to simplify the tax code,” the organization said in a statement shared with Inside the Beltway, noting that it has produced “copious studies” on the best ways to lessen the burden on taxpayers every year.

And now, we present the numbers.

“It takes all Americans more than 2.2 billion hours to file their federal taxes. The opportunity cost of the billions of hours spent on taxes is equivalent to $249 billion in labor,” said the non-partisan research and educational organization.

But wait. That’s not all.

“Taxpayers spend $104 billion a year on out-of-pocket expenses associated with preparing and submitting tax forms. Some entail basic costs such as making copies of financial statements, receipts, or forms,” the research noted.

The facts, figures and other information can be found at in a “policy paper” penned by Demian Brady, vice president of research for the organization.


Meanwhile, there is information out there in case anyone is, uh, running a little late on Tax Day.

The Internal Revenue Service offers a very sizable online compendium of frequent tax questions, including one called “What to do if you haven’t filed your tax return,” which is labeled Topic No. 153.

Find the federal agency’s public outreach at


Republican presidential candidate and self-described “political outsider” Vivek Ramaswamy is bound for the Hawkeye State.

He will embark on a four-day campaign bus tour across Iowa, with stops in Maquoketa, Monticello, Jefferson and Johnston. His appearances include everything from “Pancakes with Vivek” at a VFW post in Des Moines to an obligatory and important visit with the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Victory Spring Kick-Off” in Clive on Saturday.

He’ll have company at this very high-profile event, which boasts a list of 20 high-profile “invited guests” who range from former President Donald Trump to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Confirmed speakers also include Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and state Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann will serve as moderators for the event.

“We are a non-profit organization that seeks to make a difference in the public arena regarding the issues that matter most. We stand for integrity in government, high moral values, constitutional authority, and Christian principles,” the Faith & Freedom Coalition says in its mission statement.

“Our purpose is to educate and influence voters and politicians to keep their commitment to both liberty and law; that America may continue to be one nation under God,” it said.


The House Committee on Small Business will hold a hearing Tuesday titled “Paying Their Fair Share: How Tax Hikes Crush the Competitiveness of Small Businesses.”

“In this hearing, we will discuss the impact of tax hikes on small businesses and how the Biden administration’s tax plan will impact Main Street,” the committee noted in a statement to Inside the Beltway.

The committee is chaired by Rep. Roger Williams, Texas Republican. The hearing is open to the public and can be viewed online on the committee’s YouTube channel, the panel advises.


A trio of ‘key Tennessee Republicans” have endorsed Donald Trump for president, this according to Make America Great Again Inc.

The three are Sen. Bill Hagerty, and Reps. Diana Harshbarger and John Rose. All made their choice known in written statements.

“It is my honor to give my whole-hearted endorsement to Donald J. Trump to be the next President of the United States. I was honored to previously serve in his administration. Under President Trump, our border was secure, our nation was energy independent, & we witnessed a Blue-Collar Boom that lifted up American workers of all backgrounds. Under President Trump’s leadership, we engaged with strength, and we encouraged our allies to stand strong with us,” Mr. Hagerty said.

Ms. Harshbarger said that “we can return to the conservative values and leadership that once made America great. President Donald J. Trump has a proven track record of delivering results and putting America first. He has done it before, and he can do it again. As an American who values proven leadership, I am proud to give my complete and full endorsement to President Trump.”

And Mr. Rose noted that “under Biden’s leadership, America is weaker than ever. Under President Trump, our economy was strong, our border was secure, and our conservative principles and freedoms were protected. In 2024, it is imperative that we elect a leader that projects strength. That’s why I am endorsing Donald Trump for President.”


55% of U.S. adults worry about the pollution of drinking water a great deal, 25% worry a fair amount, 14% only a little and 6% not at all.

50% worry about the pollution of rivers, lakes and reservoirs a great deal, 31% worry a fair amount, 14% only a little and 4% not at all.

40% worry about the extinction of plant and animal species a great deal, 29% worry a fair amount, 20% only a little and 11% not at all.

39% worry about the loss of tropical rain forests a great deal, 27% worry a fair amount, 23% only a little and 11% not at all.

39% worry about global warming or climate change a great deal, 22% worry a fair amount, 18% only a little and 21% not at all.

38% worry about air pollution a great deal, 32% worry a fair amount, 22% only a little and 8% not at all.

SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 1,009 U.S. adults conducted March 1-23 and released Monday.

• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗱𝗶𝘁𝘀, 𝗖𝗼𝗽𝘆𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 & 𝗖𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗲𝘀𝘆:
𝗙𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗴𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗗𝗠𝗖𝗔,
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