By Tim Devaney - 04/15/14 12:37 PM EDT
Not counting the trillions of dollars that taxpayers send to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year, they also spend billions just preparing their taxes, a new study finds.
As Tax Day rolls around, the conservative American Action Forum (AAF) finds that taxpayers who file individually spent 2.6 billion hours and nearly $34 billion "undergoing the thankless task" of preparing their taxes in 2013, numbers that are expected to gradually rise this year.
This comes in addition to the $1.3 trillion the IRS raised from individual income taxes last year, according to the AAF.
"Tax Day will come and go, but absent meaningful tax reform, the complexity of the U.S. tax code will exact an increasing burden on the U.S. economy well in excess of mere revenue raised," Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the AAF, wrote in the report.
There are about 150 million people who pay taxes in the United States.
The AAF collected the numbers from a report by White House's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on the IRS. The conservative advocacy group called the U.S. tax code "broken" and accused it of being "riddled with inefficiency and complexity."
Beyond individual income taxes, companies and people spent a total of 7.7 billion hours preparing their taxes last year, which translates into 12.2 hours per response, according to the AAF.
"To put IRS's 7.7 billion hours in perspective, it would take more than 3.8 million Americans (more than Oklahoma's population) working (full-time) to complete these requirements," Batkins wrote.