The US's tax system is turning into a two-tier tax system, with wealth as the determining factor, writes Howard Gleckman. Many affluent and influential people and organizations have almost unlimited power when it comes to their taxes.
In several states, some governors were caught off guard by how personal income tax payments fell well below expectations. But, states should not have been so surprised, writes Norton Francis.
Analysis of House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp's tax reform plan shows that the plan would raise the same amount of money in 10 years as the current law, writes Howard Gleckman. Still, the long-term effects aren't completely certain yet.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted to keep a corporate tax break permanent. And that is a mistake, Howard Gleckman writes.
A poll, taken in the midst of tax season, finds that 58 percent of those surveyed think filling out their tax forms is “easy.” Only 38 percent say it is “hard.” Here's the catch: more people are filing their taxes with the help of a professional service.
Until now, backers of reform have focused primarily on economic arguments: A reformed tax code would increase growth or create more jobs. But they may do better on tying tax reform to moral issues, such as fairness.
Those tax goodies – tax breaks for everything from corporate research to teachers' unreimbursed class expenses – have expired again. Congress always renews them. But Congress would do the nation a favor by not extending them until it tackled serious tax reform.
As the Senate's finance committee chairman, Ron Wyden, is expected to introduce a bill that would reinstate expired tax breaks, Illinois and Pennsylvania are raising some local taxes of their own.
Congress faces the question of what to do with expired tax subsidies. While some of these provisions were meant to boost the economy after the Great Recession, they could potentially add billions of dollars to the nation's deficit if continued.