This week, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5485, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, introduced by Congressman Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.). This legislation allocates 2017 federal funding for numerous agencies including the Treasury Department, the IRS, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FCC.
Two amendments, proposed by Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) would block the IRS from collecting the capital gains tax and the Death Tax. Both taxes are a double tax on Americans – one on after tax income that is reinvested in the economy, and the other on all your assets when you die.
ATR has long supported full repeal of these taxes. In lieu of that, these amendments provide an avenue to stop the needless double taxation on Americans by prohibiting the federal government from using funds to collect both taxes. ATR supports both amendments, urges they be made in order by the House Rules Committee, and strongly encourages all members to vote and support both amendments.
Below is more information on ATR’s position on both the Death Tax and the capital gains tax:
One of the most intrusive and unfair taxes is the Death Tax, which requires your loved ones to tell the IRS about everything you own at the moment of death – your bank accounts, investments, the value of your home and business, and more.
Right now, the tax sits at 40 percent with an exemption threshold of $5.43 million, meaning the tax burden for families is significant. Those who are hit hardest generally are first and second generation families with a small business, because the truly wealthy can avoid the tax through an army of accountants, attorneys, and charitable planners.
The Death Tax is counterproductive to growth – it is a tax you pay on savings you have already paid taxes on at least once. As a result, the Tax Foundation predicts repeal would add 150,000 jobs and raise $8 billion in annual revenue over the long term.
Capital Gains Tax
A key policy goal should be incremental progress toward a consumption base of taxation and therefore cutting the tax rate on capital gains (and dividends, distributed after-tax corporate earnings) to zero. The capital gains tax hits income that has already been subjected to income taxes and has been reinvested to help create jobs, grow wages, and increase economic growth. This double taxation makes no sense from the perspective of encouraging investment and stronger growth.
At present, the code taxes a dividend or capital gain (a profit derived from the sale of a stock, bond or other asset) at a lower rate, with a top rate of 23.8 percent for assets held longer than a year. Ideally, the tax code should be based on consumption and income derived from investments (as well as income saved) would be not be taxed at all.