Tax reform Feed

Maybe this last Sunday you were watching continuing coverage of the horrific terrorist attacks on Paris. Or perhaps, needing a break from the evil that humans too often inflict upon each other, you switched over to the Sunday night NFL game. Regardless of why, you missed House Speaker Paul D. Ryan's appearance on 60 Minutes. Click image to watch the CBS video. That meant you also missed the former Republican presidential nominee and GOP budget guru sharing a few thoughts on tax reform. You're really kicking yourself now, aren't you? No worries. Thanks to, or maybe curses on, the Internet,... Read more →


Donald Trump was among the millions of taxpayers who sent their 1040s to the Internal Revenue Service on Oct. 15. He even shared some photos of him signing his tax return on Twitter. Trump's implication, of course, is that the ginormous stack of apparent tax paperwork in his photos will be negated under his 'amazing' tax reform plan. Ran Paul's retort: One of the Republicans chasing Trump in the GOP presidential nomination race, however, didn't imply anything. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky used The Donald's tweet to tout his own flat tax simplification proposal. The direct approach is nothing new... Read more →


The Donald sure knows how to sell, that's for sure. As part of Trump's just-released tax plan, in April some taxpayers won't owe the Internal Revenue Service a red cent. But they still will get to send in a form, one that simply says, "I win!" What person wouldn't welcome no taxes and an in-your-face message to the hated IRS? Well, some sane people who question whether, despite Trump's promises, that his repackaging of a trickle-down tax system will work might have their doubts. But The Donald hasn't ever let the haters-gonna-hate crowd stop him. Zero tax bracket: The no-tax... Read more →


House Speaker John Boehner swears it wasn't a literal come-to-Jesus talk he had with Pope Francis that led him to announce today that he's resigning his Ohio House seat, and thus the U.S. House leadership post, at the end of October. We'll take the soon-to-depart Republican Speaker at his word. He is, after all a devout Catholic, so he wouldn't be making up stuff so soon after spending face time with the head of his global church. He did acknowledge, however, that he took the Pope's words to heart. At his press conference this afternoon, during which Boehner was in... Read more →


Donald Trump has yet to release his tax reform plan, but he dropped a hint during an interview with CBS News on Sunday morning. "The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder. They're making a tremendous amount of money. They have to pay taxes. I want to lower the rates for the middle class. The middle class is the one, they're getting absolutely destroyed. This country doesn't have, won't have a middle class very soon," Trump told Face the Nation. I don't agree with much of what Donald Trump says, either in his personal, TV or political life. But... Read more →


More than 32,000 people petitioned the White House asking the president to take an hour to talk with conservative talk-show host and author Neal Boortz about the FairTax plan (yes, it's referred to as one word). The request was posted Jan. 8, 2013, on We the People, the White House's online petition site. The 32,421 digital signatures it collected earn this week's By the Numbers honor. That total, however, was not enough to convince President Obama to make room in his schedule for the requested meeting. "We've taken your request seriously and while we appreciate the suggestion, we respectfully decline,"... Read more →


Comprehensive, complete tax code rewrite? Not a good idea. It simply puts off the possible when it comes to improving our tax system. That's the word from Bruce Bartlett, who served in two Republican administrations, Ronald Reagan's and George H.W. Bush's, each of which had historic tax connections. "Doing major tax reform, tearing the tax system out by it roots and starting from scratch has an enormous amount of attraction, but in many cases it prevents us from doing stuff that is doable now, which is to fix glaring problems in the tax code," Bartlett said in his opening remarks... Read more →


While millions of us are still struggling with our annual tax filing, members of Congress are toying with the idea of making this annual task easier. Tuesday, March 10, the Senate Finance Committee will hold yet another hearing on the tax code. Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) already has released his thoughts about tax reform. Tomorrow, he wants to hear about the merits of tax simplification. I'm willing to bet that those of us still working on our 1040s have lots of good things to say about a simplified Internal Revenue Code. We'll find out tomorrow what four expert witnesses... Read more →


Who do people dislike more than politicians? Internal Revenue Service employees. So what the heck is former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson thinking in making a run for the White House? Everson, addressing "Fellow Citizens of the United States" in his website's "Letter to America," says that "Americans deserve constructive solutions to the challenges facing our country." OK, I think we get the focus on the good ol' U.S. of A., although I must admit that "fellow citizens" salutation did have a bit of an alien spaceship feel to me. Maybe I've just read/watched too much science fiction over the years.... Read more →


What the most important policy issue to you this year? According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, it's defense against terrorism. Seventy-six percent of those who responded to Pew's annual policy priorities poll named terrorism as their top concern. It is the first time in five years that Americans have focused so much on terror, probably in large part because in recent months violent attacks have been in the news. The poll was conducted between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11. The move to the top spot, however, is not totally unexpected. Pew notes that there has been little change... Read more →


They're baaaaack! Representatives and Senators returned Jan. 6 to Washington, D.C., this time with both chambers under Republican control. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) was selected House Speaker for the third time. And once again, Boehner had to fight off conservative insurgents in his party. Boehner got a total of 216 votes, with 25 Republicans voting for someone else or "present" as a protest of what they see as too conciliatory of an approach by the Speaker in dealing with President Obama. Across Capitol Hill, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) takes over as Majority Leader of the Senate from Sen. Harry Reid... Read more →


Happy Holidays tax world! Last night, Dec. 16, the Senators decided they'd had enough and finally rubber-stamped the House version of tax extenders. The bill now heads to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. But did the Senate act in time? Oh sure, Congress got the job done retroactively for the 2014 tax year so for the next two weeks folks can make some tax moves they've been postponing while the tax breaks were in limbo. But did the Senate approval come soon enough for tax filing season 2015 to start on time? We're still waiting on official... Read more →


The tax reform 2014 train has another passenger, this one boarding at the U.S. Senate's tax-writing station. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has released an in-depth analysis by the Senate Finance Committee Republican staff entitled "Comprehensive Tax Reform for 2015 and Beyond." Also this week, outgoing Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced H.R. 1, the Tax Reform Act of 2014, in the House. The Senate report outlines the issues policymakers must consider in any effort to reform the tax code, according to Hatch. The document also aims to "further educate and inform" the upcoming debate. There's a good chance... Read more →


Almost two full years after the 113th Congress clocked in, its first bill has been filed just as the legislative body is about to end. "Wait," you say. "I know it's been a do-nothing Congress, but I do remember a few bills passing the House and Senate since January 2013." OK, technically it's not the first bill of this current Congress. But it is the bill awarded the official first numerical moniker: H.R. 1. When this group of lawmakers (using that work loosely) convened back in January 2013, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reserved the bill designation for legislation to... Read more →


Sen. Tom Coburn, the Republican who's served Oklahomans in Congress' upper chamber since 2005 and for six years in the House before that, is retiring as soon as this lame duck session wraps. Many see Coburn as an obstructionist, especially when it comes to considering budget bills, and are happy to see him go. Others, however, think he's done a fine job crusading against irresponsible government spending. In fact, Coburn will be remembered for the issuance of his so-called Wastebooks, reports on ways his Capitol Hill colleagues waste U.S. taxpayer money. As his parting gift to U.S. taxpayers and his... Read more →


It looks like Rep. Paul Ryan is shelving national political ambitions for a while to take over the House Ways and Means committee. Ryan will assume the chairmanship of the powerful tax-writing panel on Jan. 3, 2015 when the 114th Congress convenes. He takes the gavel from W&M Chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), who is retiring at the end of the current congressional session. Ryan, Republican Representative for the first district of Wisconsin since 1999, announced his desire for the top tax post on Nov. 4. Click image to see interview clip via Bloomberg Politics (@bpolitics) on Twitter "It is... Read more →


Most of us won't vote on tax-related ballot initiatives today, but taxes still will guide our choices, according to a recent poll. Public Opinion Strategies' (POS) national pre-election survey found that tax reform is a major concern for most voters. Overall, the Alexandria, Virginia-based political and public affairs research firm found that economic issues will be a deciding factor in how people vote today. Nearly all voters (96 percent) say economic issues are important to their vote. Almost three-quarters (74 percent) classify economic issues as "extremely" or "very important" in determining how they will cast their ballots. That sentiment was... Read more →


I finally finished up our 2013 tax return this week. Quick reminder to my fellow procrastinators: You've got to get your 1040 to the Internal Revenue Service by Oct. 15. One of the several reasons the hubby and I (OK, me alone, since taking care of our taxes is my job) put off filing each year is that our returns typically involve a lot of forms. Even with tax software, it takes time to fill them out and I'm usually pretty busy during filing season. One of those IRS forms is Schedule A for itemized deductions. Itemizing still works for... Read more →


Remember the last election cycle when most of the campaign and Capitol Hill talk focused on the federal budget deficit? Now, however, with the Nov. 4 balloting day just about a month away, it's pretty much crickets when it comes to the deficit. Part of the reason is that as the fiscal 2014 year is winding down, the U.S. deficit is dropping. Last month the U.S. Treasury reported that the country's debt level fell again, on a fiscal year-over-year basis, to $589.5 billion. August's deficit was $128 billion. That's a 58 percent reduction from the fiscal 2009 deficit peak of... Read more →


The debate on the use offshore tax havens has been heating up. On the individual side, the Internal Revenue Service on July 1 got a new tool, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), to track down international accounts the tax man says are used to avoid paying Uncle Sam his due. On the corporate side, the conversation about offshore tax havens went off the charts when the iconic, 114-year-old pharmacy chain Walgreens -- the inventor of the malted milkshake, for heaven's sake! -- announced it was considering moving its headquarters from Deerfield, Illinois, to Switzerland to lower its tax... Read more →