John Bullis: When can we expect tax reform?

With Congress all tied up and failing to agree on almost anything, I wonder when we can expect Congress to reform our tax laws.

Recently a tax writer for the U.S. Senate vowed to work on overhauling the federal tax code by August 2015.

It is long past time to reduce the corporation income tax rates. Sen. Ron Wyden said rate reduction to 24 percent (from 35 percent) is possible by “eliminating loopholes”.

He indicated the tax reform might be done by the August 2015 time when Congress takes a break from their labors. After that, they will be so involved in the 2016 presidential election and campaign politics, reform just won’t get done.

Sen. Wyden first offered a comprehensive plan for rewriting the tax code in 2010. As you know, not much got done since about 1986 when Congress really worked on passing a lot of special credits and deductions (loopholes).

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen is a top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. He said, “(Reform) possibly next year? I don’t rank that possibility high”.

The loss of jobs by companies moving much of their operations overseas is terrible.

But if you were the CEO of a big company, you might feel a move was in the best interest of the shareholders. So, jobs are lost in the U.S. and created overseas.

If you want to hear about the complexities of the tax law, just spend some time with a CPA that prepares corporation, trust and partnership returns. The list of special provisions goes on and on.

Maybe we will get some tax law reform after the next election. I hope so.

I like the idea of having our members of Congress prepare their own returns, by themselves, with all the IRS publications as their only help. They should do that only in public view. That is not going to happen, but maybe then they would see clearly how our tax law are a mess.

Thank goodness the computer programs like TurboTax are available now. They do help guide the work on fairly simple individual returns. Maybe using computer programs is the best idea while we wait for tax law reform.

Did you hear? “The first rule of a professional accounting practice —Nobody is in a rush for the wrong answer,” by Robert Cohen CPA in Denver.

John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.


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