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Congressman Gus Bilirakis

Representing the 12th District of Florida

A Simpler, Fairer Tax Code

August 19, 2016
Bilirakis Blog

It’s no wonder Americans pay tens of millions of dollars a year for tax preparers to wade through 70,000 pages worth of tax law. The tax code is confusing, and sends too much money to Washington and too many jobs overseas. I am working towards a simpler, fairer, and flatter tax code, so that it will be easier for small business owners, families, and individuals to do taxes and have peace of mind. Simplifying our tax code will lead to more jobs, better wages, and more opportunities for all Americans.

We must simplify the tax code…

I hear from frustrated constituents year after year when tax day approaches. Our current tax code is overwhelming and does not work in favor of taxpayers. We must simplify the process and help protect taxpayers from significant tax increases.  The U.S. House passed H.R. 2029, the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act. This legislation makes permanent over 20 tax relief provisions and extends a number of other tax relief provisions that expired in 2014. This legislation delivers certainty to taxpayers in my district and across the country, and will help strengthen the integrity of tax credit programs to prevent fraud and abuse.

I am also a proud cosponsor of the Fair Tax Act, legislation which would eliminate the income tax and replace all payroll taxes with a national retail sales tax. By ending the income tax, which punishes successful Americans, and switching to a sales tax, this bill would bring about a fairer tax system.  I will continue working to make the tax code more fair and simple, and make all American lives easier.

We must encourage economic growth…

Our tax code should make it easier to create jobs, not harder. Businesses should be incentivized to raise wages and expand opportunities, but in today’s world tax burdens are overwhelming. The current code penalizes savings and investment, and it encourages businesses to move overseas. Small business owners in my district have discussed this issue with me at length. They face an unnecessary amount of burdensome paperwork requirements, and a top Federal marginal tax rate as high as 44.6 percent on their activities. As a result, a majority of our small businesses are forced to focus more resources on dealing with the tax code and less on creating jobs, paying higher wages, and investing in local communities. I am working to lessen this burden so that our businesses can get back to creating jobs, and helping our local economy thrive.

Finally, we must reform the IRS…

A simpler, fairer tax code should mean a simpler, fairer IRS. I continue working to improve the IRS and ensure we stop wasteful and fraudulent spending. H.R. 192, the Stop Handouts to Unauthorized Taxpayers (SHUT) Act, would require any individual who receives the refundable portion of the child tax credit to prove their legal employment in the United States with a Social Security Number or proof of lawful residence on their tax return. The SHUT Act is a positive step to end this waste of taxpayer money, and ensure the refundable portion of the child tax credit is there for the people it is meant to help: lawful, working low-income families. The IRS should be there to put taxpayers first, I will keep working to ensure the IRS works for us, not against us.

A simpler, fairer tax code will significantly help individuals, families, and our nation as a whole. I am working to cut down waste and abuse so that we can encourage growth and prosperity. Our tax code must be modernized for the future, and there’s no better time than the present.

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