August 4, 2009 - Phil Hodgen

Why tax law is ultimately doomed

Because it is a rules-based endeavor.  Entropy for rules-based endeavors yields an end-state of stagnant complexity.  An interesting analog — Wikipedia and the proliferation of rules — is over at Eric Goldman‘s blog.

Funny and true story about me as a young pup tax lawyer, straight out of law school.  I looked at the (then) two volumes of Internal Revenue Code in paperback, and the (then) six volumes of Treasury Regulations.  (Hey, old timers, remember the CCH paperbacks you’d buy every year, with the Bible paper and everything?)

I remember thinking to myself that there was so much stuff there that every tax question MUST be answered somewhere in the Code or Regulations.  🙂

Little did I know that the Code and the Regulations are not there to solve problems but to create them.