O'Neill Urged to Push US Tax Simplification
Wall Street Journal Online (02/12/01) No. 3719 p.B5; Martin, Fowler W.

The Tax Executives Institute, the American Institute of CPAs, and the tax section of the American Bar Association are all asking Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill to push simplification of the tax code while the fiscal climate is good. The groups say that U.S. taxpayers cannot cope with tax law without expending considerable resources, adding that citizens have lost respect for the system. They have written a letter that offers O'Neill a variety of recommendations in 16 categories, with repeal of the individual and corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) regimes at the top of the list. Many policy makers think reformation of the AMT is a good idea, but changes are hard to legislate. The groups have their eyes on other areas for reform as well, namely various foreign provisions, "phase-outs," the independent contractor test, capital gains, retirement security and pension rules, the Earned Income Credit, education incentives, estimated tax payment rules, and expiring tax provisions. O'Neill has indicated interest in the idea of rewriting the entire tax system. Some reformers believe that the more complex the system gets, the more the public will demand change.


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