TAXES: Break-Even Simplicity

For multitudes of taxpayers, Secretary of the Treasury George P. Shultz confessed last week, April 15 has become a day of "agony"; Form 1040 and its accompanying schedules are so befuddling that more than half the nation's 75 million taxpayers pay professionals to fill them out. He proposed a major simplification that, he said, would enable almost all "average taxpayers" to make out their returns with no help.

Shultz would eliminate several widely used deductions and exclusions—gasoline taxes, sick pay, the first $100 of dividends received—and permit deductions for medical and casualty expenses only if they exceeded 5% of gross...

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