A POSITIVE VISION FOR TAX REFORM: Principle #1: Simplicity

May 24, 2017 by AFP

The U.S. tax code today is convoluted, complex and unfair to the American people. Congress must unify around a strong vision for tax reform rooted in a sincere commitment to bettering the lives of every American.

Our positive vision for tax reform involves five principles to guide lawmakers in this effort. The first principle is simplicity.

Problematic Tax Rates:

America has the highest corporate statutory rates in the developed world. High tax rates hurt both American workers and consumers by stifling economic growth and discouraging business investments. This has led America to lose as many as 3 million jobs.

High corporate tax rates also punish consumers by reducing job opportunities and increasing prices. Meanwhile, high individual tax rates hurt individuals and their families, who rely on take-home pay.

A Maze of Complexity:

Each year, hardworking families and businesses waste billions of dollars and hours navigating the tax code’s complex and convoluted requirements.

In 2016, the tax code’s complexity cost American taxpayers and businesses a combined $409 billion dollars and over 8.9 billion hours in compliance time. This time and money could have easily been better spent by American taxpayers in more productive ways.

How We Achieve Simplicity:

Our goal is to achieve lower rates, reduce the number of income brackets and eliminate special loopholes, deductions and exemptions to make tax compliance both easier and more affordable for the American people.

Simplifying the tax code can be achieved by the following:

  • Reducing the number of income brackets;
  • Eliminating special interest tax credits and deductions for businesses and individuals;
  • Stopping the cycle of tax extenders and annual changes to the tax code;
  • Simplifying taxes on investment; and
  • Eliminating the Alternate Minimum tax

By simplifying our tax code, we save time and money for millions of taxpayers, giving every American the opportunity to improve their own lives and the lives of their families.

View all five of AFP’s principles for tax reform here.