The year 2013 just might be the year that tax reform gets done in the United States. Key members of both parties in Congress say they are committed to passing such legislation. President Obama is calling for it. And fixing the tax code is an integral part of fixing the federal deficit and debt.
To withstand the political pressure of special interests that want to preserve their own tax goodies, reform must be broad and produce tangible benefits for taxpayers, such as lower rates and a simpler code. Today, preparing tax returns and complying with tax law consumes 6.1 billion hours every year, the equivalent of 3 million full-time workers, imposing costs on taxpayers of about $168 billion (yes, with a “b”).
Here at the Bipartisan Policy Center, we’ve put together six ideas that can guide Congress to a deal that both parties should be able to live with, a deal that will raise necessary revenue and help pay down the debt.