By Jesse Wood
April 17, 2014. On the dreaded tax day, U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx tweeted that individuals and business spend 6.1 billion hours per year on tax filings – “just to figure out how much money the government is going to take.”
In an additional Facebook posts, Foxx added that the tax code is “too complex” with nearly 4 million words and encouraged the White House to work with Congress to reform the system.
So Tampa Bay Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.com decided to see where this statement of 6.1 billion hours of time spent on taxes ranks on the ole Truth-O-Meter.
“That adds up to more than 695,000 years … We had to check to see if this number could possibly be accurate,” PolitiFact noted.
Foxx’s office said the 6.1 billion figure came from the Taxpayer Advocate Service’s 2013 report to Congress, and during its research, PolitiFact found that a prior report in 2009 from the same organization estimated that individuals and businesses spent 7.6 billion hours on forms.
PolitiFact concluded in its ruling:
“It’s important to note that the figure is an estimate. It comes from taking the number of tax forms filed in the last year and multiplying it by the IRS’s estimate of the time it takes to prepare the forms. Foxx’s larger point, that it takes a very long time for Americans to comply with filing their federal taxes, is accurate.
The number is an estimate, but it’s from a credible, independent report. We rate this statement True.”