Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A New Federal Tax Reform Panel

From Williams Tax Planning Blog:

Obama has appointed Paul Volcker to head a panel that will make recommendations for reforming our nation's tax laws. Volcker is also the head of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

The advisory panel will consider ways to simplify the tax code and reduce tax evasion, and will make recommendations to the President by December 4th, 2009, according to a White House briefing.

The last time we had any serious consideration for tax reform was in 2005 when President Bush appointed a panel of advisors to come up with simplified tax systems. Those recommendations were never implemented. There is a strong suspicion that recommendations coming out of this new tax reform panel might not fare any better. Rosanne Altshuler, who worked as the chief economist on the 2005 panel, fears that Paul Volcker and his team might be too constrained,

"President Obama has said that no one making less than $250,000 could pay higher taxes under any new reform. That means ninety-five percent of taxpayers can’t pay additional tax, even if it would result in a more efficient system, decrease inequities, or make their lives much simpler. At a time of monster deficits, that pretty much rules out any sensible reforms."

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