What I think is particularly frightening is that even experts at tax don't come to the same conclusions of how much tax someone might owe (let alone crazy examples like this one where someone has actually paid the taxes that the IRS agrees is the correct amount). http://reason.com/blog/2011/04/13/let-he-who-is-without-error-co
From 1998 when a scenario was presented to different tax professionals to determine tax liability:
All 46 tested tax professionals got a different answer, and none got it right. The professional who directed the test admitted "that his computation is not the only possible correct answer" since the tax law is so murky. The tax computed by these professionals "ranged from $34,240 to $68,912." The closest answer still erred in the government's favor by $610
That's 1998. Since then, the tax code has gotten considerably more complicated. As Reason.com points out - you easily end up breaking the law without even knowing you did and could end up in jail for it in the US!