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Friday, January 28, 2005

Joint Tax Committee Releases Report on Options to Improve Tax Compliance and Reform Tax Expenditures

Blue_book_2The Joint Comittee on Taxation yesterday released the 435-page Options To Improve Tax Compliance And Reform Tax Expenditures (JCS-2-05).  Here is part of the Introduction and Summary:

This report, prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, presents various options to improve tax compliance and reform tax expenditures. This report is prepared at the request of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley and Ranking Member Max Baucus. A copy of their letter follows this Introduction and Summary. This report is an independent work-product of the Joint Committee staff and the options included in it have not received prior approval by Senator Grassley, Senator Baucus, or their staffs.

As requested by Senators Grassley and Baucus, the report describes a number of proposals that would reduce the size of the tax gap by curtailing tax shelters, closing unintended loopholes, and addressing other areas of noncompliance in present law. In addition, the report contains proposals that would reform certain tax expenditures. Each proposal includes a description of present law, reasons for change, a description of the proposed change and effective date, and a discussion of the issues raised by the proposal. The proposals are not ranked or presented in any order other than by subject-matter.

The proposals contained in the report attempt to reduce noncompliance in several different ways. Some proposals address the problem by requiring new compliance or reporting initiatives, revising aspects of the law that have proven to be a source of taxpayer noncompliance, or increasing penalties. Other proposals address the problem by simplifying the law or making it more fair.

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