(NYTIMES) — Death and taxes are the only certainties in life, if you believe Benjamin Franklin. Had he been around today, he might have observed that taxes also have become a great uncertainty in life.

Taxes on earnings, investment income, sales and a few other things have gone up already in many countries, and further increases are possible, including a huge one in the United States.

Another source of unease and doubt for taxpayers is a trend toward increases of other sorts: in scrutiny by revenue authorities, reporting requirements for individuals and businesses, and legislation to close tax code loopholes.


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