Declaring that the complicated U.S. tax code is 10 times the size of the Bible, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp has called on Congress for a simple overhaul of the system in a Wall Street Journal
The Michigan Republican is the architect of a new GOP tax code
outline being released on Wednesday in the House that calls for or a cut in the top corporate income tax rate and a reduction of seven individual brackets to just two.
"Tax reform needs to be about strengthening the economy and making the code simpler and fairer," Camp wrote in the Journal. "That's what Republican President Ronald Reagan did when he worked with Democrats in Congress in 1986. We need to get to work and repeat that success."
Camp pointed out that Nina Olsen, the National Taxpayer Advocate at the IRS, has stated that Americans spend six billion hours and $168 billion every year to file their returns.
"This is stark testimony to the complexity of the tax code," he wrote. "On Wednesday, I am releasing what a simpler, fairer tax code actually looks like. The guiding principle is that everyone should play by the same rules. Your tax rate should be determined by what's fair, not by who you know in Washington.
"First, the tax code will be made simpler, so every family can do its own taxes confidently, without fearing an audit, or wondering if someone else who can afford an expensive accountant is getting a better deal.
"Today there are 15 different tax breaks for education — nine for current expenses, two for past expenses, and four for future expenses. The IRS instructions explaining it all come to almost 90 pages. That isn't a tax code designed for working families; it is a tax code designed to make money for accountants."
In his Journal comments, Camp decried the fact that owners of small businesses face tax rates as high as 44.6 percent, while the total state and federal U.S. corporate rate, 39.1%, is "the highest in the industrialized world."
He said, "The tax code should make it easier for American companies to bring back profits earned overseas so they can be invested here. It should not hinder small businesses from growing into large businesses. And the individual income tax needs to be simpler, fairer, and flatter for everyone."
Camp said that under his plan, 99 percent of filers will face a top tax rate of 25 percent, which he says would allow both small and large businesses to grow their operations and take on new workers while raising benefits and take-home pay.
He added that for individuals entering the job market there would be an introductory tax bracket of only 10 percent. The congressman said that his simpler tax code would mean that an average family of four earning $51,000 a year would have an extra $1,300 in their pocket annually.
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