Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quick List of My Proposed Changes to the Tax Code

This week, the National Taxpayer Advocate launched a suggestion box where taxpayers can offer their ideas for reforming the tax system.

“There has been near universal agreement for years that the tax code is broken and needs to be fixed,” National Taxpayer Advocate Nine E. Olson said in a statement announcing her annual report to Congress “Yet no broad-based attempt to reform the tax code has been made.”

You can submit your suggestions to the National Taxpayer Advocate at

Here's my list of changes I'd like to see in the current tax code:

1. Eliminate all itemized deductions
2. Eliminate all individual and corporate tax credits
3. Double the current standard deduction and quadruple exemption amounts (adjust annually for inflation)
4. Make current individual rates permanent (adjust annually for inflation)
5. Permanently repeal estate tax
6. Make health insurance benefits a fully taxable employer-paid benefit reportable on W-2.
7. Increase health savings account tax deduction amount
8. Repeal provision requiring all taxpayers to acquire health care in 2014.
9. Lower top corporate tax rate to 25%
10. Add permanent annual inflation adjustment to alternative minimum tax exemption amount.
11. Increase retirement savings contributions limits

What would you like to see change?


  1. Hmmm. I don't need #1 as my interest expense is 1/3 what it was 15 years ago. And AMT kills my property tax deduction anyway.

    But #6? The low wage earner would get nailed on this. The $20K earner may get the same $8-10K medical benefit as the $100K guy. This would be an added tax to either one, but would kill the low earner.

  2. Joe, my position on the health insurance benefit is that it should have always been taxed. That's one of the reasons our healthcare is in the mess that's it's in right now. Wage earners get company paid insurance and are completely desensitized to the actual cost of health care. By taxing the benefits (as we do all other benefits beyond a deminimus amount) we collect income tax for real compensation. Besides, the low income earner would receive a bigger break on the standard deduction and exemption amounts to make up for the additional tax (see #3).

  3. Eliminate refundable credits.
    Eliminate payroll taxes.
    Adjust tax rates to make above revenue neutral.