Tax day reminds us of the importance of tax reform

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Tax day reminds us of the importance of tax reform, April 15, 2017 | Chris Berardi (202-897-7700) | comments

As we approach Tax Day on Tuesday, it is obvious the United States tax system is a disaster. It takes Americans too long to file their taxes, rates are too high, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been used as a political weapon, and the code picks winners and losers. It is well past time to reform the tax code.

According to the IRS, Americans spend an average of 13 hours and $210 per return to comply with the tax code through filing a 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ form. This complicated and time consuming process often causes compliance issues for taxpayers, as it is easy to make a simple but costly mistake.

The overly complex bracket system causes further problems for Americans- there are seven different tax brackets for individuals and families, ranging from 10% to a high of 39.6%. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that because of this confusing system, 46% of Americans did not know in which tax bracket they belong. This uncertainty creates financial challenges for Americans when they are planning their budgets and savings.

Furthermore, high tax rates deprive many Americans of their hard-earned money for no value. The federal government has been on an irresponsible spending spree for years with an almost $20 trillion debt. Rather than government largess and waste like the 6 billion per year Ethanol subsidies, or the numerous unnecessary spending President Trump’s proposed budget seeks to eliminate, we citizens should be able to keep more of our money to spend as they choose.

Not to mention the IRS. The IRS exemplifies everything that is wrong with an out of control, abusive bureaucracy. During President Obama’s Administration, the IRS was used as a political weapon to target opposing political beliefs. Conservative organizations with words and phrases such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names were singled out when applying for tax-exempt status. It is no wonder that the American people do not trust the IRS. We need to hold the IRS accountable for its actions, and ensure that regardless of political beliefs this type of partisan intimidation never happens again.

 

Lastly, there is the issue of fairness. Numerous special interest carve-outs pick winners and losers based on their lobbying prowess. There are too many breaks for special interests in the tax code.  In addition to the billion dollar ones like Ethanol, how about breaks for alpaca farmers and companies that hire telemarketers to boost magazine subscriptions.  How does that benefit you or me?

Many tax reform proposals are currently being put forth and discussed in Washington. Hopefully the focus will be a simpler system to eliminate the confusion and burden of filing taxes and rates that allow Americans to keep more of their income, rather than special interests.  I will fight for a simpler, less costly, and fairer tax code that is responsible to the American people.

 
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