There Are More Tax Preparers In America Than Firefighters And Police Combined

There are now more tax preparers than firefighters and police in America combined.

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The U.S. federal tax code has become increasingly complex over the last 100 years, and with that change has come the need for more people who understand it.

A new graphic from "Face the Facts USA," a non-partisan election research project based at George Washington University, shows that the federal tax law has grown from just 400 pages in 1913, to more than 72,000 pages today.

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To wade through that document, the U.S. employs some 1.2 million tax preparers. Face the Facts points out that that number is higher than the number of firefighters (310,400) and police (765,000) in the country combined.

The project also warns that many Americans fear auditing because they live in a "taxation system so complex they can't hope to understand it."

According to TurboTax, however, only 1 percent of taxpayers receive an audit letter each year. U.S. News Money has helpfully rounded up nine warning signs a taxpayer is about to get audited.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can contact her at or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.