Ways and Means Committee Hears Testimony on Simplifying the Broken Tax Code

On Wednesday July 19th, the House Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee, led by Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam, held a hearing on tax reform, titled “How Tax Reform Will Simplify Our Broken Tax Code and Help Individual Families.”  The hearing focused on individual tax reform.   Subcommittee Chairman Roskam, in his opening statement, touted the introduction of a postcard-sized  individual tax return which eliminates all but two deductions and significantly reduces the number of tax brackets.  The prepared Opening Statement is available here.

The witnesses offering testimony before the Committee included:

Bill Archer, Former Ways and Means Committee Chairman
Mr. Archer offered that, in order to support economic growth and employment, tax reform needs to address both corporate and individual taxes.  He encouraged the adoption of a short and uncomplicated tax return and advocated for permanent change over temporary tax provisions.  Read his full remarks here.

Eric Rodriguez, Vice President of the Office of Research, Advocacy and Legislation for UnidosUS
Mr. Rodriguez argued that the House Republicans’ tax reform blueprint accelerates the growing wealth disparity in the country by providing significant tax breaks to the wealthiest in the nation, highlighted by the proposed lower tax rate on pass-through business income.  Read his full remarks here.

Bernard McKay, Chairman of the Board, Council for Electronic Revenue Communication Advancement
Mr. McKay, speaking on behalf of the tax, technology and financial product and services industries, encouraged Congress to employ a common sense approach to tax reform, noting the confusion over savings vehicles and terms (there are a half dozen conflicting definitions of “dependent” applicable to a standard return).  He stated that the tax preparation industry is prepared to work with Congress to simplify the tax return process and e-filing process. Read his full remarks here.

Jania Stout, Practice Leader and Co-Founder of Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower
Ms. Stout spoke on the need to simplify retirement plan rules and expand workplace coverage.  She asked Congress to consider enhanced incentives and simplification for the administration of workplace-based retirement plans, including the establishment of a national retirement security clearinghouse to facilitate transfers and rollovers of workplace retirement plans.  Read her full remarks here.

The full hearing may be viewed at:  Hearing on How Tax Reform Will Simplify Our Broken Tax Code and Help Individuals and Families

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