O'Neill Urged to Push US Tax Simplification Wall Street Journal Online (02/12/01) ; 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.