What Happened To Tax Reform?

April 15th is less than a month away, and millions of Americans are breaking out their calculators and 1040s to slog through another year’s tax return (or hiring someone else to do it for them). H&R; Block revenues from US tax operations in 2004 were $2 billion, and over 60 percent of returns were completed by a paid preparer.

Despite promises to tackle the issue, the administration has done nothing to improve the code, but has instead opted to bull forward with the same old policies that have done little to help the economy. The President’s tax reform panel released reform recommendations last year, but the panel’s co-chair, ex-Senator John Breaux, speculated that the recommendations “got put in a closet and they closed the door and they don’t know where it is.”

And despite years of being in control, congressional leaders have not pursued real reform — opting instead to cut rates primarily for the richest Americans. (Those with incomes over $1 million got an average tax cut of over $100,000 last year alone. How much did you get?).

To fill the tax reform void, the Center for American Progress is hosting a public conference to discuss tax reform — both comprehensive reform options as well as smaller changes to the tax code that would improve the system. Full details can be found here.


— John Irons

UPDATE: The IRS is quietly moving to let accountants “sell information from individual returns — or even entire returns — to marketers and data brokers.” Register your complaints with the IRS soon.