Me and the great Harrison "The Cat" Talese-Rhodes were tasked with understanding how to file income tax and decided shortly after we began that never should wish to have to go through this process again. as Harrison said "I would rather get divorced than file income tax." Things did, however, take a turn for the better when we permitted to put limitations on the project, having to understand the income tax process for a single person with no dependents, it became markedly better. It became a great deal simpler for us to understand the basic steps and by the end we felt somewhat comfortable with income tax for single, dependent-less people. (If we were to have to do this for a family of four we may not have been able to finish.) When it came to paperwork, it was for the most part rather straightforward when you had the W-2 and instructions in hand. The biggest problem we initially faced was determining which of the 3 forms we needed to fill out and which aspects of the W-2 were relevant. With help we overcame such obstacles.
This foray into income tax, though logical in a fashion, when completely finished would benefit from changes being made to the resources provided to those filing for the first time. It took quite a bit of scavenging to find the list determining which 1040 form needed to be filled out and the list itself was mildly confusing. If I could change one thing I would make it so more of the lists were created and clearly displayed, filled with every and any definition one might need to complete this bureaucratic function.
As I list these recommendations for alterations I would like to see in this system, I must take a moment to consider why it has become so very complex way. I think in its initial creation it was rather simple since there were a limited number of lifestyle options. Now if you can dream is you can live it. What once was frowned upon or done by few is commonplace, the amount of diversity that has become ingratiated into American life is amazing. This diversity soon needed to be accounted for by its government and they most certainly did want to recreate the system to accommodate changes that may very well disappear in a few years so they add and add form after form leading to the overly complex system now in place. Or that is my theory at least.