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Ryan Ellis

ATR Supports "Blank Slate" Tax Reform Approach If No Net Tax Hike, Consumption Base


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, July 10th, 2013, 1:21 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform sent the following letter to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today expressing measured support for the "blank slate" approach to tax reform.  The full letter can be found here.  Below is an excerpt:

A revenue-neutral reform target is an absolutely essential precondition to any tax reform plan.  Tax reform should not be a stalking horse for a net tax increase.  Any tax reform plan should bring in no more tax revenue than the current system is projected to collect.  Any additional tax revenues should come as a result of faster economic growth from reform, not from legislated tax increases.  This was a key element of the 1986 Tax Reform Act.  219 congressmen and 39 senators have made this commitment to their constituents—in writing—before standing for election.  The Taxpayer Protection Pledge facilitates real, sustainable tax reform.

A comprehensive income tax base is the wrong starting point.  This income tax base double-taxes savings, biases in favor of debt over equity financing, and unfortunately is the starting point for the effort you’re undertaking here.  A more reasonable tax base to use would be one that taxes all consumed income once and only once.  The choice of tax base is absolutely critical to whether a tax reform plan maximizes economic growth or not.

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ATR Supports the "Small Business Investment Promotion Act"


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013, 1:04 PM PERMALINK


ATR is proud to support a new bill by Senator Jeff Flake, the "Small Business Investment Promotion Act."  We urge all senators to support and co-sponsor this pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-taxpayer legislation.

The bill increases the dollar amount of business assets that a small employer may expense (as opposed to depreciate) under Section 179 of the I.R.C.  Under the bill, businesses may expense up to $250,000 in business tangible personal property, with a phaseout starting at $800,000 of such property purchased in a year.  These dollar amounts would be indexed to inflation.  Computer software and certain real property would also be eligible for 179 expensing on a permanent basis.

This is a huge improvement over current law.  If Congress does nothing, the amount of property that can be expensed will fall to just $25,000 in 2014 and onward. 

Any property not immediately-expensed under Section 179 would be subject to complex depreciation rules.  For example, if a business purchased a computer for $1000, under depreciation that entire cost cannot be subtracted from the business' taxable income in the year of purchase.  Rather, it would be subject to partial deductions each year until the full cost was recovered (in the case of a computer, this takes--in effect--six calendar years, longer than the life of any computer). 

Not only is depreciation a needless complexity in our tax system--it involves the tax system in picking winners and losers.  A company can write off the full cost of hiring a new employee, the full cost of going on a business trip, the full cost of buying a box of staples--but not the full cost of buying a computer under depreciation rules.  That distorts business decisions for non-business reasons.

The "Small Business Investment Promotion Act" gets small- and mid-sized firms out of this trap.  By allowing the first $250,000 of business tangible personal property to be expensed, family-owned and operated employers can recover the cost of new business fixed investment in year one.  Ideally, all businesses of any size should be able to fully expense property, but this is a good first start.

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ATR Supports H.R. 2009, the "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013"


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Thursday, June 20th, 2013, 3:04 PM PERMALINK


ATR is pleased to announce its support for H.R.. 2009, the "Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care Act of 2013."  The bill is sponsored by medical doctor and Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.)  We would urge all Congressmen to co-sponsor and support the bill.

GAO has reported that there are 47 new powers the IRS has acquired under the Obamacare law.  We here at ATR have pointed out time and again the 20 new or higher taxes that are contained in Obamacare.  With a new scandal coming out of the IRS seemingly every day, the last thing that agency should be doing is snooping into the personal health care lives of over 300 million Americans.

Yet that's just what the IRS is about to do.  They will be the agency tasked with implementing the individual mandate and the employer mandate.  They will force all of us to disclose our personal health identification information to them when we file our 1040s every April.  They will be talking to our insurance companies and the Department of Health and Human Services about our health insurance packages. 

This is outrageous.  The IRS should have nothing to do with our health care.  Passage of H.R.. 2009 would ensure that the agency which gave us Star Trek videos and Tea Party harassment keeps its hands off our health care.

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ATR Supports the "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013"


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013, 4:56 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform today sent the following letter to Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Congressman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) in support of their new legislation, the "Death Tax Repeal Act of 2013":

The death tax is unfair.  It’s not fair to tax savings twice or even three times, as the death tax does.  It’s not fair to tax (again and again) the life work of a job creator, putting all he built and helped at risk.  And it’s certainly not fair to impose a top death tax rate as high as 40 percent, as our current system does.

The death tax is unpopular.  There are now nearly two decades of public opinion polls which show public support for full and immediate death tax repeal at between 70 and 80 percent.  The time has come to end the death tax.

The death tax is a jobs killer.  According to research from the Tax Foundation’s Steve Entin, killing the death tax would result in $1 trillion of higher economic growth over the next decade.  Small employers have to spend billions of dollars per year to plan around the death tax.  How many hundreds of thousands of Americans are out of work because of the mere existence of this tax?

The death tax is an immoral tax on small employers and families.  Imposing a tax rate as high as 40 percent on savings is not just bad for the economy—it’s unfair to families that have scrimped, saved, and built job-creating small businesses in their local communities.  Families should not have to visit the undertaker and the local IRS office at the same time.

The death tax is easier to repeal than ever.  According to CBO, the death tax will collect about $20 billion per year over the next decade.  That’s less than one-half of one percent of all federal tax revenues collected in that period.  Surely we can cut spending or find a tax revenue offset which does far less damage to jobs than the death tax does.

 

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Community Organizer Subsidy


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, June 18th, 2013, 12:46 PM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

The Obamacare law provides for “walking around money” payments to ACORN-like community organizers to sign people up for Obamacare (and likely to vote).

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Nosey Uncle Sam


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Friday, June 14th, 2013, 9:26 AM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare says that the IRS and HHS must share personal health ID information about every American participating in Obamacare.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Profit Cap


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Wednesday, June 12th, 2013, 9:26 AM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

Obamacare puts a price control on how much money health care companies can make.  This will result in rationing of health care for all of us.

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IRS Obamacare Power of the Day: Equal Outcomes Matter


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Monday, June 10th, 2013, 9:53 AM PERMALINK


Throughout the summer, Americans for Tax Reform will be highlighting the most outrageous new powers that the IRS will have under the Obamacare law.  According to a report from GAO, the IRS is tasked with nearly four dozen new powers under that law.  Each day, one will be selected for a brief review.

IRS Obamacare Power #1: Equal Outcomes Matter

Obamacare requires that everyone in a workforce have the same “quality” health coverage as everyone else. 

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Anyone Still Think the IRS Should Prepare Your Tax Return?


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Monday, May 13th, 2013, 10:07 AM PERMALINK


One of the perennial canards that float around Washington, DC is that "life would be so much better if the IRS prepared most people's tax returns."  Every April 15th, you can count on multiple mainstream media stories parroting this Beltway truism (this year, NPR and the left-wing Pro Publica, among others, paid the annual homage).  This money-grab is pushed by innocuous sounding liberal organizations like the "Sunlight Foundation."

It's all a ruse to hide their real agenda: collecting more tax dollars for the government by forcing taxpayers to fight City Hall if they want to disagree with the IRS-prepared return.

ATR swats down these stories every spring.  We point out, among other things:

IRS tax return preparation invites a conflict of interest.  The IRS' job is to collect tax revenues, and measures success or failure on this basis.  To let the IRS also determine the liability of tax is a clear conflict of interest.

IRS tax return preparation is a solution in search of a problem.  Since 2003, sixteen private sector tax software providers have voluntarily banded together to provide free tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income families with simple tax situations.  70 percent of all taxpayers—more than 100 million families—have access to this voluntary, private sector initiative.  To date, 37 million tax returns have been processed by Free File, saving taxpayers $129 million in administrative costs.

The IRS can't handle preparing people's taxes.  The IRS is a hulking and bumbling bureaucracy that routinely loses paperwork, takes months to process inquiries, and makes wasteful Star Trek videos. 

They are tasked with implementing no fewer than 47 different Obamacare provisions, including 20 new or higher taxes.  They are going to ask intrusive information about your personal health identification information starting next year.

Now, we have found out that they are guilty of a conspiracy to disenfranchise Tea Party and other limited government conservatives by preventing them from forming 501(c)(4) organizations.

Are these the people you want doing your taxes?

 

If you don't want the IRS to be preparing your taxes next year, like us on Facebook or Tweet this article to your friends.

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Every Conservative Fiscal Group Opposes "Chained CPI" Tax Hike


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Friday, April 26th, 2013, 3:08 PM PERMALINK


The following letter was sent today to Capitol Hill:

(Full letter PDF)


Dear Congressmen:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write today to express strong concerns about the tax revenue component of the so-called “Chained CPI” proposal.

Changing the way the government measures inflation has both spending cut and tax increase effects.  This letter strictly speaks to the latter.  It’s important to note that Chained CPI can be restricted to just the spending side of the federal budget.

Chained CPI would, among other things, slow down the growth rate of individual income tax brackets.  Over time, American families and small employers will find themselves facing a higher marginal income tax rate than they would absent the change to Chained CPI.  Additionally, other tax provisions such as IRA and 401(k) contribution eligibility, etc. would grow more slowly if Chained CPI were adopted.   In its first decade of implementation, President Obama’s FY 2014 budget projects Chained CPI would raise taxes by $100 billion.

We are not opposed to Chained CPI under any circumstances.  In the context of bracket-flattening tax reform which is revenue-neutral or a net tax cut, Chained CPI may be an acceptable component.  But as a standalone tax measure, Chained CPI is a $100 billion tax increase in the first decade alone.

For these reasons, we oppose Chained CPI as a standalone tax policy measure because of the fact that it is a $100 billion tax increase on the American people.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform
Andy Roth, Club for Growth
Mike Needham, Heritage Action for America
James Valvo, Americans for Prosperity
Wayne Brough, Freedom Works
Duane Pardee, National Taxpayers Union
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment
Jim Martin, 60 Plus Association

 

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