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Monday, January 14, 2013

National Taxpayer Advocate's Annual Report to Congress

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson
On 1/9/13, Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate, released the annual report her office is required to issue to Congress (IR-2013-3). This lengthy* report points out serious problems that need to be addressed by both Congress and the IRS. The three key themes of the report are:
  1. The need for tax reform.
  2. Funding for the IRS is insufficient for it to do its work.
  3. Identify theft problems.
For tax reform, the report suggests two actions for Congress:
  1. "Lay the groundwork for tax reform by holding meetings with constituents to discuss the complexity of the existing tax code and the trade-offs between tax rates and tax breaks that tax reform will require.
  2. Apply a “zero-based budgeting” approach to comprehensive tax reform that starts out with the assumption that all tax benefits will be eliminated and then adds a benefit back only if Members conclude that, on balance, the public policy benefits of providing that benefit through the tax code outweigh the complexity it imposes on taxpayers."
Instead of the 20 most serious problems (MSPs), there are 23 noted and discussed. They are:


As always, the NTA annual report is a great overview of key problems with our federal tax system with recommendations for improvement.

I'll have more later on a few of the topics.

What do you think? Anything missing?

* Volume 1 is 756 pages and Volume 2 is 166 pages.

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