WASHINGTON – Monday was the last day for Americans to file their 2012 State and Federal Income Taxes without an extension, and Chautauqua County’s congressman used the day to put the spotlight his effort to reform and simplify the tax code.
Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) discussed comprehensive tax reform during his weekly tele-conference with local media, highlighting the amount of time and money that goes into the effort to prepare taxes on an annual basis.
“When you look at the amount of money that Americans spend every year in trying to comply with the tax code in regards to the returns they file, it’s about $160 billion dollars that they spend in resources to achieve that. They spend over 6 billion hours collectively trying to figure out the code, hire professionals, gather documents in order to comply with the requirements of a 70,000 page tax code that to me is broken and needs to be fixed.”
Reed said not only is the current tax code complicated and confusing, but it also ends up taking more money out of the pockets of Americans. He said as a member of the House’s Ways and Means Committee, he’s pushing for a simpler, fairer tax code that will help create a stronger economy but keeping less money from going to the federal government.
The Corning Republican said that the Ways and Means Committee is just about finished with its work in 11 tax reform working groups that were created earlier this year. He says the Senate will also be working on its own version of an income tax reform bill, but there are sure to be difference between the two, with the Senate version looking to take more money from wealthy Americans.
“In the Senate, they are looking at ways to raise revenue. What we’re trying to do is find a way to make a competitive, simpler fairer code and do it in a revenue neutral way. And I think that’s the biggest difference that you’ll see in the Senate version of this bill as opposed to the house.”
Reed added that specific details of the House tax reform bill – including how the proposed changes would affect different levels of income – should be released within the next month or two.