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[Computational Complexity] Complexity of Income Tax

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  • GASARCH
    Its INCOME TAX TIME in the USA. Which country has the most complicated Income Tax System? How can you measure the complexity of an Income Tax System? Some
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2008
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      Its INCOME TAX TIME in the USA. Which country has the most complicated Income Tax System? How can you measure the complexity of an Income Tax System? Some factors:
      • The number of pages in the tax code.
      • The length of the form you hand in.
      • The percent of tax payers who hire someone to do their taxes for them. (This may also be affected by the computer literacy of the country.)
      • The number of changes in the tax law from year to year.
      • The minimum amount you have to declare. (Do I need to declare my 25 cents that I won from Justin, my 8 year old great nephew, on a math game? Can he use the -25 cents as a deduction? He can use it to offset gambling gains.
      • The number of items you can deduct.

      There is a problem with all of these measures. What if the tax code is 100,000 pages long but 99.9% of the people only need the first page? One solution is to do some sort of weighted sum.

      Deciding whether a tax system is complicated is a hard problem; however, deciding if its fair is a much harder problem.

      --
      Posted By GASARCH to Computational Complexity at 4/15/2008 09:30:00 AM

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