Americans Spent Nearly 10 Billion Hours on Government Forms Last Year

The government calls it "burden hours," and a recent study tallies them up.

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  • 9.9 billion: Number of hours Americans spent on government paperwork last year
  • 2 billion: Increase in hours from 2004, a 25 percent increase
  • 1 billion: Estimated number of hours in 1981
  • 7.7 billion: Number of hours spent on IRS forms, or 80 percent of the total
  • $460 billion: Estimated labor cost of the 9.9 billion hours of federal paperwork

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Sources: New York Times, Congressional Research Service