What about them? Are you concerned that they won’t have anywhere to go or that they won’t be able to find a job? They’re Accountants. They are generally well educated people with high mathematical skills. Most of them do much more than just file income taxes. Before we can figure out how many may be affected, we need to figure out how many there are first.
How many Accountants are there?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: “There were 1.3 million accountants and auditors in 2008.” ~ http://www.bls.gov/k12/money01.htm
#NumberOf.net says “There are 1,762,000 accountants and auditors in the United States for the year 2008. They represent 1.2% of the total 145,362,000 employed Americans for the same year. … This data is based on the The 2010 Statistical Yearbook of the United States Census Bureau.” ~ http://www.numberof.net/number-of-accountants-in-the-us/
Now, it is my assumption that only about ~2% of Accountants would be affected by the #FairTax, because they ONLY deal with income tax returns. In fact, a high level executive at H&R Block came out in support of the FairTax with the following comment, “We’ll make far more money helping our clients invest their money than we make filling out their tax returns. You’re about to turn us into a nation of investors, and we have the largest Rolodex in the nation”. At 2%, that’s approximately 26,000 to 35,240 Accountants who MAY be temporarily displaced.
How many IRS Employees are there?
To get these numbers I turned to the same sources as above. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 there were 74,500 IRS Employees(1). And #NumberOf.net says, “according to the IRS 2009 Data Book, IRS workforce counts up 93,337 employees 91,082 of which being full-time permanent.”
We all know that the Affordable Healthcare Act increased the number of IRS Employees in 2011. Last count I remember seeing was that the number increased to about 125,000.
How does the FairTax affect them?
First, the FairTax will not immediately put the IRS out of Business. What it will do, however, is give them 3 years to get their affairs in order; which provides them ample time to find other jobs in the workforce. I would even go as far as making the assumption that many of them would find work elsewhere before they are officially relieved of their “duty”. According to a Whitepaper done by the Beacon Hill Institute:
Job growth would be 12% higher in Year 1, 10% higher in Year 5 and 8% higher in Year 10. Apply these results to the current level of employment, 133 million, means in just one year, the FairTax would have created 13.3 million more jobs than if the current income tax system remained in place. ~ fairtax.org/economy
With 13,000,000 new jobs opening up in just one year, I don’t think that 150,000-175,000 well-educated individuals will have a difficult time finding work.