Originally created 04/27/01

Simplify tax code

Congress' bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation seeks to make it easier to deal with those 650 tax forms and 13,000 pages of explanation. Even though we prefer a national sales tax, any tax simplification should be encouraged.

The panel urges getting rid of rules that phase out tax breaks as income rises, i.e., universalize such tax breaks as the $500 child credit. The alternative minimum tax, meant only for the super-wealthy but now cutting into the pocketbooks of the not-so-wealthy, would also be tossed.

Although the recommendations are bipartisan, that doesn't mean they'll sail through Congress. Senate liberals may perceive the reform as another "tax cut for the rich." Also accountants and tax lawyers who make their living off the code's complexity usually fight simplification.

It will take a grass-roots effort to get the reforms off the drawing board. Let your representatives know you support tax simplification.


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