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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tax Déjà Vu

In reading current reports and testimony about various aspects of federal and state tax reform and in doing research which often leads me to old reports and testimony, I've been amazed at how statements written decades apart can sound so similar. Are we making progress? Are we updating our tax systems to reflect todays ways of living and doing business? (no) Are we making the tax system simpler? (no)

Well, if you've recently read IRC Section 168(k) on claiming as refundable, carryovers of the research credit and minimum tax credit in lieu of claiming bonus depreciation, you know we aren't making the system simpler. If you've looked at the list of tax changes included in the Economic Stabilization Act (which includes Energy provisions, Extenders and AMT relief) and the Housing Assistance Tax Act (July 2008), you know we are not moving towards simplification.

Are we moving towards anything that shows we've read the old studies that point out problems with our tax system? Some of these reports are over 20 years old and sound like they could have been written today.

I've pulled some examples. You can find them in a short piece called Tax Déjà Vu - click here.

Do you have any examples to add? Statements made more than 10 years ago that sound like the same ones we are making today (only with larger dollars today!)?

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