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Tell U.S. House tax writers how to reform the tax code

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned in a tax reform post that the House Ways and Means Committee has named 11 working groups to come up with some ways to revamp the Internal Revenue Code.

Torn tax code book by Chris Tolworthy via Flickr Creative Commons
Torn "tax" book by Chris Tolworthy via Flickr Creative Commons

At that time, the House tax writers said they wanted input from John and Jane Taxpayer, but the committee didn't provide any specifics on how we could do that.

Now it has.

The Ways and Means Committee is accepting comments at its new email address tax.reform@mail.house.gov.

The House tax writers will take public comments through Monday, April 15. Yeah, the tax-filing deadline. I love the symbolic timing, too.

If you're inclined to email Congress with ideas on how the 100-year-old income tax should be reworked, the Ways and Means Committee asks that you follow a few rules.

Include the name of the working group to which your suggestion applies. The groups are (alphabetically, not in any order of importance):

  1. Charitable/Exempt Organizations
  2. Debt, Equity and Capital
  3. Education and Family Benefits
  4. Energy
  5. Financial Services
  6. Income and Tax Distribution
  7. International
  8. Manufacturing
  9. Pensions/Retirement
  10. Real Estate
  11. Small Business/Pass Throughs

In the subject line of your email, write "Comments: (name of) Tax Reform Working Group," e.g., Energy Tax Reform Working Group.

Include your name, physical address, phone number and email address in the body of the email.

Attach any submission as a Word document.

Keep it clean. OK, this wasn't part of the Ways and Means announcement.

But it's something to keep in mind since, say W&M Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Ranking Minority Member Sander Levin (D-Mich.), "To ensure that comments are widely available and accessible, comments that are received will be posted on the Ways and Means website."

Remember, your mother might be surfing Congressional Web pages.

Your remarks also will be part of the official record.

All public comments will be incorporated into the final Joint Committee on Taxation report on this tax reform effort.

In addition to the public remarks, the Joint Committee's report will include ideas from stakeholders, academics, think tanks, tax practitioners and other U.S. Representatives. The document is to be delivered to the Ways and Means Committee by May 6.

If you have any problems sending a tax reform email or simply have questions, you can call (202) 225-3625 or (202) 225-1721. Sorry, these aren't toll-free numbers.

Now I'm off to tweak my remarks to the tax writers.

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Comments

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Cary

Wow! Thank you very much! So that's where it all originates!!! I've been wondering how it was possible to give some rational ideas to the people who design the Tax solutions/laws and ultimately how we pay our taxes. I believe in taxes! It's the way to run the business of governing. I also believe that there should be some common sense in the some of the ways we are taxed; and, in some of the ways we receive Credits for our being responsible citizens. Again, Thank you.

Kay

Andrew, that is great! Thanks for sharing. Kay

Andrew B. Delaney

This is my favorite tax-reform quote: "Here’s my proposal, which is based on the TV show Survivor: We put the entire Congress on an island. All the food on this island is locked inside a vault, which can be opened only by an ordinary American taxpayer named Bob. Every day, the congresspersons are given a section of the Tax Code, which they must rewrite so that Bob can understand it. If he can, he lets them eat that day; if he can’t, he doesn’t." -- Dave Barry

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