By Travis H. Brown |
The flat tax is a good idea because it saves time, provides choice, and restores fairness to the tax code. Each year, Americans spend 6.1 billion hours preparing their tax forms and the IRS has 1,175 forms and instructions listed on its website. Even the IRS commissioner, Doug Shulman, has said, "I find the tax code complex, so I use a preparer."
Since 2003, I have introduced a flat tax bill into Congress. H.R. 1040, the Freedom Flat Tax, would create a tax system that minimizes the number of market-distorting investment decisions that are made as a result of the current tax system. People should base their financial decisions on common-sense economics, not the tax code. It is simple, fair, and pro-growth.
The Freedom Flat Tax Act will phase in the flat tax over a three-year period. It will start with a 19 percent rate for the first two years and a 17 percent rate in subsequent years. There are no loopholes, but it will allow some personal exemptions, like a standard deduction. Unlike other versions of the flat tax, this legislation allows individuals and businesses to choose if and when they will opt into the system.
Choice is important. If people like the current system, they can still choose to file their taxes in the same way they have always done. If they, like myself and even the IRS commissioner, find the current code complex and confusing, they can choose a simple and fair option when filing. The bottom line is that the Freedom Flat Tax restores fairness to the tax code by treating everyone equally and provides a simple solution to a complex system.
About Michael C. Burgess U.S. Representative
Dean Baker Author of 'The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive'