Efforts to reform the federal income tax code are showing no signs of slowing as the U.S. Congress turns to its agenda for 2012. While the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (Committee) represented a missed opportunity to put tax reform on a fast track, it is also true that the factors driving interest in tax reform remain despite the committee’s failure to reach a deal. Certainly, the congressional tax writing committees and supporters of tax reform are diligently continuing their work.
There has been a growing interest in the last year in reforming the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (Code). Reasons to reform the code include increased simplicity, certainty, and fairness. There also is a hope that a reformed code will increase economic efficiency by decreasing its interference in investment and business decisions and, as a result, increase the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. There appears to be consensus around the idea of reducing or eliminating a number of tax preferences, incentives, credits and deductions to offset the cost of a general reduction in marginal tax rates for both individuals and businesses. More than two dozen hearings addressing tax reform’s potential effect on everything from energy policy to homeownership were held by the House and Senate taxwriting committees in 2011, and more are planned...
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