It’s that time of year again. Everyone who pays taxes is rummaging through shoe boxes and file cabinets for receipts, missing 1099s, mortgage payment receipts and bank statements. Each year America spends millions preparing their tax returns for Uncle Sam.
As citizens meander their way through the increasingly confusing and maze-like tax code, they are unaware of the rules, regulations, and guidelines that grossly complicate the filing of federal tax returns. President Bush has pledged tax reform as a major agenda item, but Congress has so far refused to act as both Republicans and Democrats are frightened to address such a complicated issue.
Surprisingly, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) have proposed the Fair Flat Tax Act, which would reform the system in to a simple, one-page Form 1040 and reduce the number of tax brackets from six to three; the new brackets would be set at 15%, 25% and 35%. The Democratic duo write in today’s Wall Street Journal that their plan would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax that affects a growing number of middle-class taxpayers each year while keeping the write-offs that most middle-class Americans utilize, such as home mortgages, savings and education expenses.
While the plan is not perfect, mainly because the rates are too high, it is a step in the right direction for Democrats, Republicans and America as a whole. It is time to cut the paperwork and red tape so that individuals can spend more of their money and time with their families, instead of with the accountant.