Vail Daily letter: Simplify the tax code
April 19, 2014
The IRS has been in the news of late, not only for continuing to foist an unintelligible and unfair tax code upon the taxpayers, but for abusing its powers in many ways. This most unhappy state of affairs provides a great opportunity for a major political party to have in its platform a plank that would pledge to completely overhaul the tax code if given the power to do so.
Though all the information pertinent to my relatively simple taxes for 2013 went out to my accountant over a month ago, it is likely that she will have to file for an extension, once again, as the tax code has become so complicated that even the professionals have difficulty deciphering it and often get it wrong.
Steve Forbes should be presented with the Medal of Honor for his work in support of a flat tax, which if enacted would overnight level the playing field and return billions of dollars to the pockets of the taxpayers while ending the feeding frenzy of a great many special-interest groups who continue to benefit handsomely from aspects of the code that relate only to their particular interests.
Forbes' proposal, as I understand it, would eliminate all deductions; and instead levy a flat rate tax of 17 percent on a person's or corporation's income. At a stroke, this would likely cut the number of IRS employees in half (giving the remaining employees time to go after potential tax cheats), do away with tens of thousands of accountants and lawyers, who presently serve no useful purpose, while allowing anyone with a high school education to be able to prepare their own taxes.
It will be most interesting to see if one of the major political parties in the country has the gumption to stand up to this task, and by doing so have the majority of its members finally begin to earn the substantial amount of money we all pay to support their time in office. No more do-nothing homesteading on the taxpayers dime.