A new report shows that as the United States' tax system grows more complicated because of Obamacare regulations, the economy is taking more of a hit.
According to data from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF),
complying with the federal income tax cost the economy about $234 billion in productivity last year.
The group came to that figure by adding the out-of-pocket cost of tax preparation assistance ($31.7 billion) and the estimated cost of $202.1 billion due to lost labor hours Americans spent dealing with their 2013 tax returns that were filed in 2014.
The economic hit was lower than the previous year by almost $10 billion, and the NTUF concludes that "was an anomaly."
The increase to this year's figure, according to the NTUF, stems from the Affordable Care Act and the mountain of paperwork it has created at the IRS.
"Looking deeper at NTUF's research, there is one big reason to think this could be the beginning of a trend in the wrong direction: 3,322 pages of legal guidance for Obamacare (or the ACA) added to IRS.gov (1,077 pages of regulations, 1,377 pages of Treasury decisions, 669 notices, 100 revenue procedures, and 12 revenue rulings)," the report reads.
"Essentially, Obamacare is coming home to roost."
The nonprofit research organization concludes that while Obamacare has not yet "drastically increased costs under NTUF's metrics," it has caused a ripple effect throughout the economy that starts at the taxpayer level.
"It is inflicting new burdens on taxpayers, and this is bound to increase the burdens of tax complexity more than what has already been observed," the report reads.
The NTUF claims that 94 percent of tax returns are filed with assistance, a metric that includes the use of tax preparation software.
"Ultimately, NTUF's research paints a grim picture: a public not comprehending the full reality of tax complexity and the drag it places on the economy, combined with added regulations, laws, rules, and powers the IRS is still integrating — taxpayers wobbling under the weight of tax complexity may not like what the future brings," the report reads.
A report last week showed
some Obamacare customers are getting hit with huge tax bills this year thanks to confusion over the subsidies they received that helped pay for their health plans last year.
In January, tax preparation service H&R Block said
Obamacare's tax regulations are "likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014."
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