Our tax code is so complex that the former IRS Commissioner has to hire an accountant to prepare his tax returns. The current tax code, and the 20 volumes of regulations that accompany the law, includes more than 14.4 million words. Individuals and businesses spend about 6.1 billion hours each year complying with tax-filing requirements. Whatever your situation, I think most of us can agree that taxes are too high and our tax code is too long and too confusing.
My colleagues and I on the Appropriations Committee slashed funding for the IRS – cutting the Department’s budget by $345.6 million in the final fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill. We cut IRS funding below the fiscal year 2008 level.
But I believe we need to go further than just cutting funding for the IRS. I have long supported an approach to tax reform that not only makes the tax code and the tax filing process simpler but also keeps more money where it belongs: in your pocket.
First, we must ensure the tax code allows businesses to compete on a level playing field so they can better innovate and grow. This means eliminating unnecessary loopholes.
Second, our overall tax structure can be simplified. We must also look at and streamline other areas, including the collection, enforcement and filing process. That is why I am an original cosponsor of H.R. 27, a bill to sunset the entire tax code, and H.R. 25, the Fair Tax Act that would replace all federal taxes on income—from the income tax to the highly regressive payroll tax to the estate tax—with a single national retail sales tax. Replacing our convoluted tax structure with the Fair Tax would save families from having to spend hours reading forms and gathering receipts in order to pay their taxes. Reforming the system with one simple tax for all Americans not only makes the tax filing process simpler, but would also make the IRS obsolete. You would keep 100 percent of your income. And economic growth would take off like a rocket.
Finally, tax reform must lower the overall tax rate for both businesses and individuals.
I will continue work with my colleagues to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses and work toward a simpler and more transparent system to keep the money where it belongs – in the hands of the American people who earned it.