The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

February 21, 2014

Our Readers Speak — Friday, February 21, 2013

Lawmakers should repeal West Virginia’s Purchaser’s Use Tax

I would like to reinforce a recent writer challenging state lawmakers to repeal West Virginia’s Purchaser’s Use Tax. I, too, think it appropriate for lawmakers who can’t co-sponsor such a bill to show us how it’s done by making public their tax records.

I’m never more angry than when tracking the use tax. Example, a recent out-of-state purchase of five items: Three were computer equipment; one was food; the last was prepared food. Now ask: What’s the tax (in the other state) on computer equipment? Food? Do I even file on prepared food?

Answer those, compute the difference with West Virginia tax, file receipt and record. Do it every time.

How do you track this? A spreadsheet, fill in a ledger every time you buy out-of-state, or do you just live with the auditor’s knife to your throat? West Virginia tax law says you should use up your life doing this. It should end!

I am an American woman with the God-given right to be free. I should not be a slave to bureaucrats. I completed high school, college and raised a family. I run a business, and given time, can understand most things, but the tax code? That’s different.

Worse government hubris is in the federal tax code. 2012 instructions gave me a chuckle stating, “Form 8812 is new for 2012. Form 8812 is no longer in use.” Huh?

The U.S. tax code is full of it. I’ve called the IRS for clarification on two questions. Six calls, six different answers! They regurgitate their “instructions” and are quick to say “consult a tax adviser.”

No! They will not audit my tax adviser, and my tax adviser makes me sign a disclaimer. They will audit and penalize me. We, you and I, must understand this. But how can we, when the IRS doesn’t?

The previous writer asked a good question: How much life should be invested reading this “sewage?” And shouldn’t we be confident it’s correct when we’re done? We can’t because IRS fog and confusion was a scandal long before the targeting scandal.

If state and federal lawmakers let 2014 pass without dealing a blow to mind-numbing, life-consuming regulation — they have failed! It’s time to call Congress and your state legislators and tell them to stop the Bureaucrats Bully Club!

Sally Douglas