Monday, April 18, 2016

Tax Day: Fear and Loathing at the IRS

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Tax day. It's dreaded, it's feared, it's loathed. And rightfully so.

Last year, Americans rushing to file their taxes by the April 15 deadline dealt with a 74,608-page-long Internal Revenue Code (tax code). And whether you're an early 20-something finishing school and paying taxes for the first time or you're a 50-something with diverse assets and your own business, that's daunting. Our impenetrable tax code makes it impossible to feel confident that you've filed your taxes correctly without an extraordinary amount of time, effort, and expense.

Tax day shouldn't be a horror story. There's a better way. And the bottom line is this: our complex tax code stifles economic and jobs growth. I believe that comprehensive, fundamental tax reform is absolutely necessary for us to compete in global, national, and even local markets. We can't continue to expect the American people to shoulder the burden of a tax code that is ever-expanding to accommodate a bloated bureaucracy and special interests. That has to end now.

Washington has been talking about reforming the tax code for years without any real action, but I believe that we can't address the significant inefficiencies our tax system creates without committing to comprehensive, fundamental reform. I want to see a simpler, fairer, more competitive tax code that supports the folks who are working hard, creating jobs, and expanding our economy. That's why I am a cosponsor of the Tax Code Termination Act (H.R. 27). Authored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-6), this legislation sets a deadline for legislative action in the tax arena. It requires Congress to approve a new, streamlined federal tax system and abolish the Internal Revenue Code by the end of 2019. That's an absolute must.

According to a national poll, more than 75 percent of voters in both parties don't believe the tax code is "generally fair and equitable." Congress has to do its job and address those concerns. Incremental reforms are an earnest way forward, but I believe we need more. We need to start anew with a user-friendly tax system that supports individual enterprise. It'll promote savings, it'll promote investment, and it'll promote economic growth in a way that eliminates fear and anxiety for the taxpayer. I'll continue to work hard to make sure that happens.


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