Date: January 25, 2013

By: Bob Goodlatte

We often hear that nothing in this world is certain except death and taxes.  However, the current federal tax code is a source of much uncertainty for many taxpayers.  With Americans spending more than 6.1 billion hours to prepare and file their tax returns, it is clear that the current tax code is no longer working in a fair manner.  At roughly 4 million words, the tax code is unfair, costly, and impossibly complex.  A recent survey of small businesses by the Job Creators Alliance found that taxes are the single most important issue facing small businesses. The tax code should work for American families and businesses – not against them.  

Republican or Democrat, there is wide consensus that the tax code is badly broken. The recent fiscal cliff debate and the battle over our nation’s tax-and-spend policies put on display just how flawed the tax code really is in America.  While many folks are now trying to decipher how their taxes will change this year, all taxpayers are yet again forced to comply with a tax code that is not working.  

What we need is tax code simplification. By simplifying and reforming the tax code, we can also boost our economy and encourage investment and growth.  We can act now to hold the government accountable for every tax dollar spent and protect hardworking taxpayers from significant tax hikes.  As a long-term solution, we must look at fundamentally reforming the tax system.  One option I support is to scrap the current tax code and start from scratch.

Just a few days ago, I reintroduced The Tax Code Termination Act.  This legislation accomplishes two goals by repealing the entire tax code, except portions that deal with Social Security and Medicare, by December 31, 2017 and requiring Congress to approve a new federal tax system by July of the same year.  Seventy bipartisan cosponsors have already signed on in support of the bill.  The National Taxpayer’s Union has endorsed the bill saying it will “provide the impetus necessary to create a simpler, fairer, and pro-growth tax code.”

Congress will not reach a consensus on a contentious issue like tax reform unless it is forced to do so.  This legislation forces Congress to finally address fundamental tax reform and paves the way for a much-needed overhaul of today’s tax system.  Though many questions and ideas remain about the best way to reform our tax system, the main goal of any tax system adopted should be to create a simpler, pro-growth tax code that works for American families and businesses.  I will continue to support putting an end to the broken tax system that exists in our country and providing American taxpayers with more certainty regarding our tax structure.

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