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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tax Reform in the 110th Congress

While we did not see "major" tax reform in the 110th Congress (which, of course, isn't finished yet, but will likely just be focused on extenders, the AMT "patch," some energy proposals and perhaps more economic stimulus in its last few weeks), there were a variety of hearings held that examined various weaknesses and problem areas in our federal tax system. These areas included:
  • complexity
  • equity, particularly in terms of "working families"
  • AMT problems
  • education incentive confusion and complexity
  • worker classification
  • retirement savings
  • wealth and transfer tax issues and alternative systems
  • international competitiveness and the tax law's impact
  • taxation of small businesses
  • energy incentives
  • taxes and climate change

There are really few topics that were not addressed.

Question - what will be the result of so much testimony, reports, and discussion?

Hopefully, some members of Congress and their staff have notes listing the problems and possible solutions. To this needs to added any missing topics, consideration of priorities and how all of the problems can best be addressed. Is a major overhaul of the tax system needed?

I have a list of the key hearings related to tax issues and reform with links to the testimony. Click here.

What do you think are the priorities and approaches for tax reform for the 111th Congress?