posted on Jan, 6 2010 @ 07:24 PM
reply to post by endisnighe
Criminal law is outside of my area of expertise, but from what I understand the 5th amendment privilege against self incrimination has only been
extended to two circumstances: (1) criminal defendants do not have to testify at their own trials and (2) police cannot interrogate people they hold
in custody without giving the Miranda warnings. That being said, the signature line on the tax form does not violate the Fifth amendment as it has
been applied by the courts.
As far as the tax law being complex, you are right. However, there are forms like the 1040EZ which are relatively easy to fill out. 1040's are also
easy to fill out. It only gets complicated when you want to take complicated deductions, own your own business, or have engaged in many complicated
transactions. You also have to keep in mind large portions of the code do not apply to everyday individuals. For example there are several statutes
which govern corporations, partnerships, S corporations, and banks.
The tax law's complexities are a blessing and a curse. One one hand, the complexity not only confuses many people, but it also offers potential
abuses to people with the resources to exploit those abuses (or lobby Congress to create abuses). On the other hand, a complex code can also prevent
certain abuses or avoid harsh results.
Many people like the idea of a "flat tax." This seems fine, but can be unduly harsh in certain circumstances and unduly lenient in others. For
starters, we have to define what the flat tax would tax. If a store owner pays $100K a year for inventory and sells $200K a year worth of inventory,
do we apply the flat tax based on the gross revenue or a net revenue. It might be harsh to tax him on $200K. What other expenses will we allow the
store owner to deduct? Can he deduct his electricity bill? What about employee salaries? What about his student loan payments?
Now let us assume are store owner decides to sell his business for $500K. How much should the owner be taxed on then? Should he pay $500K? This
might be harsh as the store owner has probably paid some money out of his own pocket for the business?
So as you can see, if we would implement a "flat tax" we will need to start making rules to define what a person is supposed to pay as they engage
in transactions like selling inventory, selling a business, or earning wages.