Thursday, February 02, 2006

No income tax in 2009?

A press release from Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson's website:

Isakson Introduces Legislation to Repeal Tax Code by 2008
Requires Congress to Reauthorize Current Tax Code or Replace It with New System
Flat Tax and National Sales Tax Must Be Considered Among Options

WASHINGTON – Declaring that it's time to give relief to American taxpayers, U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) has introduced legislation to repeal the U.S. tax code by 2008 and to force Congress to vote to reauthorize it or replace it with a new system.

Isakson's bill also creates a commission that would be required to examine and to recommend to Congress plausible replacements for the tax code. A flat tax and a national sales tax must be among the options it examines, under Isakson's legislation.

“The average person spends over 13 hours completing IRS Form 1040, and nearly three in five tax filers have to hire help to complete their taxes,” Isakson said. “The time has come for us to give some relief to the American taxpayer through a complete overhaul of our burdensome, confusing and overly complex tax code.”

The Tax Code Termination Act, S.2182, would terminate the current tax code on December 31, 2008. To ensure a smooth transition to a new system, Congress must approve a new tax code by July 4, 2008. If a new system is not approved by July 4, 2008, Congress would be forced to vote to reauthorize the current tax code.

“History has taught us that if we don’t impose a deadline and terminate the tax code by a date certain, overhauling our inefficient system is nearly impossible,” Isakson said. “All options should be on the table and the only way to fairly consider all of them is to start from scratch.”

To help Congress choose the best replacement system, Isakson's bill creates a commission to analyze reform options and report its findings to Congress. The commission would review the impact of the current tax code on the economy, families and workers; the compliance costs to taxpayers, small business and corporations; and the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to administer the current code.

The commission would be required to consider specifically whether the income tax should be replaced with a flat tax, a national sales tax or another option. The commission also would be required to identify the transition costs associated with any change to the present federal tax code.

The commission would also be required to report on the potential impact of any new system on the U.S. economy and on the government’s ability to collect revenue. Additionally, the potential impact of any new system must be presented and reviewed from both static and dynamic scoring models.

The bill will create a National Commission on Tax Reform within the legislative branch, consisting of 15 members. Two of the members will be required to come from businesses with less than 50 employees. The commission will be appointed by the president, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House and the Minority Leader in the House.

My first thought: YAY!

Then the little realist in me forces me to realize this bill will never pass. But I'm still proud of my senator for trying.

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