CCAGW Endorses Proposal for Tax Reform Commission | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Endorses Proposal for Tax Reform Commission

Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact:  Mark Carpenter/Tom Finnigan

October 1, 2003
(202) 467-5300

 

Bill Could Set in Motion Longed-Awaited Tax Overhaul 

(Washington, D.C.)  The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today endorsed legislation introduced by Rep. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Ralph Hall (D-Texas) to create a Tax Reform Action Commission (TRAC) to examine the current tax system and submit reform recommendations to Congress.  The TRAC Act would evaluate the complexity of the tax code and propose replacing it with a simple, fair system that would reduce compliance costs and spur economic growth.      

“The concept of fundamental tax reform has been tossed around policy circles for decades but our tax system continues to slouch toward chaos,” CCAGW President Tom Schatz said.  “The tax code is so Byzantine no one can  understand it, yet taxpayers are all subject to an infamous Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audit for failing to comply.  The TRAC Act shows that some politicians are finally waking up and taking tax reform seriously.”

The TRAC Act would require any tax reform plan to be 1) simple, transparent, and efficient; 2) fair and equitable to all Americans; and 3) neutral between activities and between current consumption and future consumption.

“Another word for taxation is wealth destruction,” Schatz continued.  “The resources that companies devote to tax compliance could instead be spent on product enhancement and workers’ salaries.  Likewise, ordinary people would have more time to raise a family or work longer hours if tax preparation weren’t so burdensome.” 

Currently, the Internal Revenue Code is a 5.5 million word, 17,000 page behemoth.  As of June 2000, the U.S. Treasury had issued an additional 20,000 pages of regulations and clarifications.  Complying with the tax code is estimated to cost individuals and businesses more than $200 billion annually.  Additionally, businesses will spend 3.4 billion man-hours preparing their taxes, while individuals will spend 1.7 billion man-hours on tax preparation.  More than half of individual filers need assistance to prepare their taxes.  

“A complete overhaul of the tax system is long overdue,” Schatz concluded.  “The IRS consistently receives one of the worst public approval ratings of any government agency. The TRAC Act is a meaningful first step toward fundamental tax reform.” 

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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