Alexander Hendrie

Carried Interest Is A Capital Gain And Should Be Maintained As Such

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Wednesday, October 25th, 2017, 1:59 PM PERMALINK

The Republican tax reform framework contains numerous provisions which will increase economic growth, raise wages, and create new or better jobs for American families.

For instance, the plan reduces taxes on all businesses by 42 percent, resulting in a 20 percent tax rate for corporations and a 25 percent rate for pass-through entities. The framework also implements a territorial system of taxation so that American businesses operating overseas compete on a level playing field against foreign companies.

In combination with the reforms to individual taxation such as cutting and consolidating the income tax brackets and doubling the standard deduction, the tax reform plan will result in bigger paychecks for taxpayers across the country.

One area, the framework is silent on is capital gains taxes, which directly hinder economic growth by disincentivizing investment. Because the plan contains many other pro-growth provisions, it is not necessarily a problem that there is no reduction in the capital gains tax, given the constraints faced by budget reconciliation. However, increasing this tax, either through a direct increase in the rate or by narrowing the base of the tax, would limit economic growth and contradict the goals of tax reform.

One way that lawmakers may increase taxes on capital gains is through taxing carried interest capital gains as ordinary income, rather than capital gains income.

This would be a mistake – there is no difference between carried interest and any other type of capital gain. Carried interest is the investor’s share of an investment partnership between the investor and individuals providing expertise on investment decisions. These partnerships generate income through a long-term investment in the same way as any to which the capital gains tax applies – individuals do not benefit from any special treatment. There is no sound basis for taxing these returns as ordinary income.

A carried interest tax increase is also bad policy. It would reduce investment and savings while damaging the economy and America’s economic growth prospects. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that a carried interest tax increase will raise a paltry $19.6 billion in revenue over a decade, with Tax Foundation estimating that this number would be just $13 billion due to the negative macroeconomic effects. Both numbers are a small fraction of the $41.7 trillion that will be raised over the same time period, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

In return, the impact of this tax increase will be felt by pension funds, charities and colleges that depend on investment partnership structures in order to meet savings goals. Small businesses would also be badly affected, as investment money available from these partnerships dries up.

The better policy would be preserving the base of the capital gains tax to promote investment by maintaining current law (or reducing taxes on all capital gains). Multiple layers of taxation under our tax code mean that there is little rationale for taxing income derived from a capital gain, as investment in capital is derived from income which has already been taxed at the individual level prior to reinvestment in the economy. Double taxation discourages savings, suppresses productivity, and discourages investment. It acts as a barrier to job creation, wage growth, and economic growth.

America’s capital gains taxes are already among the highest in the world.  The top rate has increased from 15 percent to 23.8 percent in the last 8 years alone. A study by Ernst and Young placed the top U.S. integrated rate at 56.3 percent after accounting for the corporate tax, federal and state capital gains taxes, and the Obamacare net investment income tax - far in excess of the average integrated rate of other OECD nations and the five BRICS countries which sits at just 40.3 percent.

The Republican tax reform framework is strongly pro-growth and will turbocharge the economy. Lawmakers should be sure not to undermine the framework through pay-fors that hinder economic growth.

Photo Credit: Madeleine Tsol


KEY VOTE: ATR Urges House Passage of Senate Passed H.Con.Res. 71, the FY 2018 Budget Resolution

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, October 24th, 2017, 2:36 PM PERMALINK

The budget resolution is the vehicle to pass tax reform. Support for the budget equals support for tax reform

ATR urges a YES vote on the Senate Amendment to H. Con. Res. 71

 
"The Republican tax reform plan will turbo-charge the economy, create millions of new jobs and make America the best place in the world to invest, build and create," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The first step toward passing this tax reform plan is for congress to pass a budget resolution that unlocks reform."
 

It is imperative that the Trump tax reform plan is signed into law in 2017. The first step toward achieving this goal must be passage of a budget resolution. 

Without a budget resolution, Congress is unable to move forward with tax reform as almost every Senate Democrat has already ruled out supporting Trump's tax reform plan. The only path forward is through budget reconciliation which avoids a Senate filibuster before moving to a regular order process that involves Committees of jurisdiction drafting legislative text.

Support for this budget resolution should be viewed as support for the Trump tax reform plan. Opposition to the budget resolution equals opposition to tax reform.

All Members of Congress should vote YES on the Senate Amendment to H. Con. Res. 71, the FY2018 Budget Resolution.

The Trump Tax Reform Framework proposes tax cuts and simplification for individuals and businesses: 

  • Consolidates the existing seven tax brackets into three (12%, 25%, 35%). 
  • Doubles the standard deduction (The first $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families will not be taxed). 
  • Expands the child tax credit so that families have more take home pay. 
  • Simplifies the code by repealing unnecessary deductions and credits but preserves home mortgage and charitable deductions. 
  • Repeals the death tax and AMT. 
  • Reduces taxes on all businesses by 42 percent - The corporate tax rate is reduced to 20 percent, and the tax rate on pass-through entities is reduced to 25 percent. 
  • Enacts 100 percent, full business expensing for at least five years to stimulate new investment in the economy. 
  • Replaces the outdated worldwide system of taxation with a system of territoriality so that American businesses operating overseas can compete. 
  • Allows trillions of dollars' worth of after-tax income to come back to the U.S. to be reinvested in the economy after a one-time repatriation rate. 

More from Americans for Tax Reform


Lawmakers Should Repeal IPAB’s Price Controls with CHIP Reauthorization


Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Wednesday, October 18th, 2017, 2:00 PM PERMALINK

While efforts to repeal Obamacare and reform the nation’s healthcare system have stalled, there are still opportunities to enact healthcare reform that undoes the damage caused by Obamacare. Congress is likely to soon take up reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). They should use this opportunity to also repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Repealing IPAB is bipartisan and may be the only chance for the Republican Congress to repeal parts of Obamacare.

IPAB was created seven years ago when Obamacare was signed into law. The basic role of IPAB is to lower costs through the implementation of blunt price controls that ration the existing Medicare system. This indiscriminate tool leaves the U.S. healthcare system with the same price controls attempted (and failed) in socialized medicine systems seen throughout the world.

In addition to being a blunt instrument that drives bad policy, IPAB also undermines the constitutionally granted authority Congress has over the power of the purse. IPAB bureaucrats are free to institute price controls they see fit without approval from Congress. As a result, this board has immense power over health outcomes and the livelihood of patients and doctors.

Given the board is problematic both politically and from a policy standpoint, it should not be surprising that there is broad consensus to repeal IPAB from numerous stakeholders.

The alternative – allowing the board to operate as planned – will result in indiscriminate cuts to Medicare that will undermine healthcare choice and access of 55 million Americans.

While there are clear arguments for repealing this panel, lawmakers should be sure to ignore poor arguments in favor of keeping IPAB. For example, some argue that IPAB repeal needs to be offset. However, this logic is flawed – under current law CBO has already assumed that IPAB will save money over the ten-year window even though the price controls have not yet been implemented. The assumption that preventing these price controls “costs” the government money is backwards thinking logic that is biased toward the status quo of Obamacare.

Ultimately, while previous stages of healthcare reform have failed Congress can still achieve repeal some of Obamacare by repealing IPAB and saving Medicare beneficiaries from indiscriminate price controls. When Congress takes up legislation reauthorizing CHIP, they should also be prepared to take up bipartisan legislation repealing IPAB.

 

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KEY VOTE: ATR Urges Passage of Senate FY ‘18 Budget Resolution


Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017, 10:00 AM PERMALINK

The budget resolution is the vehicle to pass tax reform. Support for the budget equals support for tax reform

ATR urges a YES vote on the S.Con.Res. 25 as a pro-taxpayer vote 
  
“The Republican tax reform plan will turbo-charge the economy, create millions of new jobs and make America the best place in the world to invest, build and create,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The first step toward passing this tax reform plan is for congress to pass a budget resolution that unlocks reform." 

[ATR letter of support for S.Con.Res.25 can be found here]

It is imperative that the Trump tax reform plan is signed into law in 2017. The first step toward achieving this goal must be passage of a budget resolution. 

Without a budget resolution, Congress is unable to move forward with tax reform as almost every Senate Democrat has already ruled out supporting Trump’s tax reform plan. The only path forward is through budget reconciliation which avoids a Senate filibuster before moving to a regular order process that involves Committees of jurisdiction drafting legislative text. 

Support for this budget resolution should be viewed as support for the Trump tax reform plan. Opposition to the budget resolution equals opposition to tax reform.

All Senators should vote “YES” on the S.Con.Res.25, the FY ‘18 budget resolution.

The Trump Tax Reform Framework proposes tax cuts and simplification for individuals and businesses: 

-Consolidates the existing seven tax brackets into three (12%, 25%, 35%). 
-Doubles the standard deduction (The first $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families will not be taxed). 
-Expands the child tax credit so that families have more take home pay. 
-Simplifies the code by repealing unnecessary deductions and credits but preserves home mortgage and charitable deductions. 
-Repeals the death tax and AMT. 
-Reduces taxes on all businesses by 42 percent – The corporate tax rate is reduced to 20 percent, and the tax rate on pass-through entities is reduced to 25 percent. 
-Enacts 100 percent, full business expensing for at least five years to stimulate new investment in the economy. 
-Replaces the outdated worldwide system of taxation with a system of territoriality so that American businesses operating overseas can compete. 
-Allows trillions of dollars’ worth of after-tax income to come back to the U.S. to be reinvested in the economy after a one-time repatriation rate. 

 

 

More from Americans for Tax Reform


TPC Study Based on Flawed Assumptions, Fails to Use Accurate Scoring

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie, Olivia Grady on Friday, October 6th, 2017, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

[Full PDF of this Document Can be Found Here]

Since President Trump and Republicans in the House and Senate released their joint tax reform framework last month, many have rushed to judge the plan. While this plan is an excellent first step, it is still just a framework that will further be developed by the Committees of jurisdiction, as noted in the document. The next step in the process is to move through regular order:

 “This unified framework serves as a template for the tax-writing committees that will develop legislation through a transparent and inclusive committee process.”

Despite this, some have decided to prematurely analyze the tax framework using their own assumptions. Exhibit A amongst these biased analyses is the study published by the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the left-leaning Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. 

This study fails to take into account numerous issues.

First, it does not take into account any dynamic macroeconomic effects of the tax changes. Instead, it analyzes tax changes solely on the static revenue lost or gained as if every tax cut or tax increase is the same and has no effect on behavior.

Second, it assumes numerous details that have not been decided yet. The framework did not include the income ranges for the individual brackets or the size of the expanded child tax credit. Both of these will be decided by Committees of jurisdiction. The Tax Policy Center study included income ranges and the size of the credit despite this.

[The Full Document is Also Available Here] 

Dynamic Scoring is Key to Any Realistic Analysis of The Tax Reform Framework

The analysis conducted by the Tax Policy Center fails to use dynamic scoring to analyze the benefits of the plan. Instead, it uses static scoring to downplay the positive economic effects of the plan.  Realistic scoring of tax proposals must use dynamic scoring for several reasons, as outlined by the Tax Foundation. 

First, static scoring does not take into account the changes to the economy and specifically economic growth that a tax change might cause. With dynamic scoring, however, representatives can understand the real benefits and costs of a tax change proposal. Dynamic scoring, therefore, is simply more accurate scoring. 

A high tax rate will discourage some people from working as much because if the government is taking away most of the money from an additional hour that they’ll work, it won’t be worth it to work. However, if the government only takes a small percentage, more people will choose to work to i.e. save up for a vacation or their child’s college tuition. Dynamic scoring reflects these behavioral changes, while static scoring does not.

Second, many tax changes made in the GOP framework are designed to promote economic growth. Because this is the goal, lawmakers need to understand how the change will affect economic growth. Static scoring does not show economic growth. It assumes that the gross domestic product will remain the same.

The Unified Framework is a plan to grow the economy and increase the number of jobs. In fact, economic growth is one of President Trump’s goals for tax reform. Using static scoring makes it impossible for policy analysts to determine how much economic growth and how many jobs this framework will create.

Finally, static scoring does not show all the benefits of tax cuts. It downplays how much additional money the Treasury will see from economic growth due to the tax cuts. Therefore, the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) estimates were often very far off from reality before the office started using dynamic scoring. Despite how far off the estimates were, the analysis by the CBO and JCT did determine whether a tax change passed.

Due to these reasons, Congress passed the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act of 2013, requiring the CBO and the JCT to use dynamic scoring. However, both the CBO and the JCT do not use as robust scoring as they should.

An example of how their scoring isn’t robust enough is one provided in Curtis Dubay’s 2015 Heritage article, “JCT Dynamic Score of Bonus Depreciation: Highly Flawed.” His example was bonus depreciation, a policy that allows businesses to deduct 50 percent of their investments in the year that they purchased them. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) said this policy would only grow the size of the economy by .2 percent over ten years using dynamic scoring, while the Tax Foundation argued that the economy would grow by 1.1 percent over ten years.

Despite this flaw, the scoring by the CBO and JCT is more accurate than if they used static scoring.

While there are clear reasons for using dynamic scoring, the Tax Policy Center surprisingly examined the effects of the Congressional Republican’s proposal, the “Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code” using static scoring. The Center now claims that the framework would reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over ten years. In addition, those with the largest income would see the biggest tax cuts, and some would experience a tax increase under this plan.

The United States has historically seen large economic growth after tax cuts, and economic growth is one of the main purposes for this tax cut. If you think that there isn’t going to be growth after a tax cut and the taxes have been reduced, it is not a surprise that federal revenue decreases and deficits increase. The Wall Street Journal pointed this out in a recent article and predicts that if GDP growth increases to 3% a year with this tax cut, the Treasury would see an additional $2.5 trillion. 

Efforts to Attribute Distributional Effects to the Framework Are Premature

As the framework notes, specific details, such as the income threshold for the consolidated tax brackets, will be developed by the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees. Given this, any detailed modeling including distributional tables is premature and based on assumptions on details that have yet to be decided.

Despite this, the report by the Tax Policy Center conducted a detailed analysis of the changes to the framework, based on their own assumptions they claim that there would be little to no benefit for many Americans.

These conclusions are very different from those reached by the Tax Foundation. Tax Foundation Senior Analyst Scott Greenberg explained in an article, ”What Would the “Big Six” Framework Mean for Lower-Middle Income Households?” how the plan would affect lower-middle income households. 

Greenberg says that the GOP individual tax proposal would reduce federal revenue by $209 billion on a static basis. The plan would benefit taxpayers in the 20% to 80% income group most, while the highest earners would pay more in taxes due to the elimination of most itemized deductions. The bottom 20% would gain from the increased standard deduction and child tax credit.

Similarly, Ryan Ellis, Senior Tax Advisor for the Family Business Coalition, found that the TPC was understating the benefits of the tax reform framework. In a recent Forbes column, he describes three typical scenarios. All three median scenarios will allow the individuals or families to invest in the economy, instead of “investing” in poorly performing government programs that were created to help politicians stay in power.

His first scenario is a family of four. The family has two children under the age of 14. The family earns the median income for a married couple, $87,000, according to the Census bureau. While the larger standard deduction reduces the family’s taxable income substantially, the lack of a personal exemption makes the family’s taxable income larger after the deductions have been taken. However, once the child tax credit is accounted for, the family receives a tax cut of $1223. This is a substantial decrease for a family that owes $4560 under the new tax plan.

The second scenario is a single mother with two small children. She earns the median income of a female head of household, $41,000. Once again, her taxable income after only the larger standard deduction has been applied is larger than her taxable income after the current standard deduction and the personal exemption have been applied. This changes again when the larger child tax credit is used. Her tax cut is $498. Under the new plan, she not only doesn’t have to pay $258 in taxes, she is given $240 by the federal government.

The final example is that of a single person who earns $36,000. She also benefits from the framework. However, once the larger standard deduction has been used, her taxable income decreases even without the personal exemption. Her taxes decrease from $3,374 to $2,880, and she receives a tax cut of $494.

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012

More from Americans for Tax Reform


KEY VOTE: ATR Urges Passage of House FY 18’ Budget Resolution


Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017, 8:00 AM PERMALINK

The first step toward achieving tax reform in 2017 is passage of the budget resolution

ATR urges a YES vote on H.Con.Res. 71 as a pro-taxpayer vote

“The Republican tax reform plan will turbo-charge the economy, create millions of new jobs and make America the best place in the world to invest, build and create” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "The first step toward passing this tax reform plan is for congress to pass a budget resolution that unlocks reform."

It is imperative that the Trump tax reform plan is signed into law in 2017. The first step toward achieving this goal must be passage is a budget resolution.

Without a budget resolution, Congress is unable to move forward with tax reform as almost every Senate Democrats has already ruled out supporting Trump’s tax reform plan. The only path forward is through budget reconciliation which avoids a Senate filibuster before moving to a regular order process that involves Committees of jurisdiction drafting legislative text.

Support for this budget resolution should be viewed as support for the Trump tax reform plan.Opposition to the budget resolution equals opposition to tax reform.

All Members of Congress should vote “Yes” on H.Con.Res. 71.

The Trump Tax Reform Framework proposes tax cuts and simplification for individuals and businesses:

-Folds the existing seven tax brackets into three (12%, 25%, 35%).

-Doubles the standard deduction (The first $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for families will not be taxed).

-Expands the child tax credit so that families have been take home pay.

-Simplifies the code by repealing unnecessary deductions and credits but preserves home mortgage and charitable deductions.

-Repeals the death tax and AMT.

-Reduces taxes on all business by 42 percent – The corporate tax rate is reduced to 20 percent, and the tax rate on pass-through entities is reduced to 25 percent.

-Enacts 100 percent, full business expensing for at least five years to stimulate new investment in the economy.

-Replaces the outdated worldwide system of taxation with a system of territoriality so that American businesses operating overseas can compete.

-Allows trillions of dollars’ worth of after-tax income to come back to the U.S. to be reinvested in the economy after a one-time repatriation rate.

 

More from Americans for Tax Reform


House Committees To Take Up IPAB Repeal

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017, 12:52 PM PERMALINK

The House Ways and Means Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee will this week hold markups for legislation that repeals Obamacare’s Independent Advisory Payment Board (IPAB). The legislation, H.R. 849, introduced by Congressman Phil Roe (R-TN) has more than 200 co-sponsors and should be unanimously approved by both Committees.

IPAB was created seven years ago when Obamacare was signed into law. The basic role of IPAB is to institute price controls and rationing within the Medicare system. In practice, this leaves the U.S. healthcare system with the same price controls attempted (and failed) in socialized medicine systems seen throughout the world.  

IPAB’s scope and role also undermines the constitutionally granted authority that Congress has over the power of the purse. IPAB bureaucrats are free to institute price controls they see fit without approval from Congress. As a result, this board has immense power over health outcomes and the livelihood of patients and doctors.

Repealing IPAB is not controversial – there is broad consensus from a range of stakeholders. Allowing the board to operate will result in indiscriminate cuts to Medicare that undermine healthcare choice and access of 55 million Americans.

While healthcare reform has stalled, Congress should act to quickly repeal IPAB and prevent new price controls from being implemented. Both the House Ways and Means Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee should quickly approve this common-sense, bipartisan bill and send it to the House floor for swift approval. 

Photo Credit: Jim Grey


Conservative Groups Urge Passage of Budget Resolution in 2017

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Thursday, September 28th, 2017, 4:00 AM PERMALINK

Congress must pass a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that unlock tax reform, a coalition of conservative interest groups led by Americans for Tax Reform wrote in a letter today to leaders in the House and Senate. 

As the letter notes, the only realistic way that Republicans can pass tax reform is through budget reconciliation that prevents a Senate filibuster. Passing tax reform that is pro-growth and pro-taxpayer will turbocharge our economy, create jobs, and raise wages. 

The full letter can be found here and is below: 

Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write in support of efforts to pass comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform in 2017.

In following with regular order, the first step toward achieving this goal must be passage of a budget resolution with reconciliation instructions that unlock tax reform.         

Given the opposition from most Senate Democrats to the tax reform plan, the only realistic way that it can be passed into law is through budget reconciliation that prevents a Senate filibuster.

Republicans have long promised that if they were given control of the White House and Congress they would pass pro-growth tax reform into law. In the remaining months of 2017, you and your colleagues have the chance to keep this promise.

We look forward to working with President Trump and the “Big Six” negotiators in the House, Senate, and the Administration to pass tax reform that is pro-growth and pro-taxpayer. We strongly support efforts to simplify the code so that it is fairer for families and individuals, while also encouraging the economy to grow, leading to the creation of more jobs and higher wages.

However, until Congress passes a budget resolution, tax writers will be unable to move forward through a regular order process as conservatives expect. As a result, it is crucial that a budget resolution is swiftly passed so that tax reform efforts can move forward.

Sincerely,

Americans for Tax Reform

National Taxpayers Union

Americans for Prosperity

FreedomWorks

Faith & Freedom Coalition

Family Business Coalition

Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

American Commitment

Club for Growth

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

American Legislative Exchange Council 

Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Association for Mature American Citizens

Photo Credit: Frankieleon - Flicker


88 Conservative Groups Urge Passage of Pro-Growth Tax Reform in 2017

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Thursday, September 14th, 2017, 5:00 AM PERMALINK

Congress must pass pro-growth tax reform in 2017, a coalition of 88 conservative groups and activists led by Americans for Tax Reform and Americans for Prosperity today wrote in a letter to leaders in the White House, House, and Senate. 

As the letter notes, the tax code today serves well-connected special interests, rather than hard working American families. Americans are frustrated with this rigged system, and it is imperative that lawmakers ensure that comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform is signed into law this year. 

The full letter can be found here and is below: 

Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, Secretary Mnuchin, Director Cohn, Chairman Hatch, and Chairman Brady: 

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write to urge passage of comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform in 2017.

In the past 30 years, the tax code has expanded in size and complexity. Today, the code serves well-connected special interests, not hard working American families. After many years of inaction, Congress and the administration have a chance to fix our broken tax system this year by making it fairer, simpler, and less burdensome.

There is broad consensus on the need for tax reform. With the 2018 midterm elections in sight, it is also crucial that bold policies keeping the promises made to the American people are realized soon.

Numerous polls have shown widespread public support for tax reform that lowers rates for all and reforms the code based on the principles of simplicity, fairness, and equity. Americans are frustrated with the rigged system that favors the politically connected and lobbyists at the expense of ordinary Americans.

It is key that tax reform reduce rates for Americans across the board, drastically simplifies the code for families and individuals, ends the Death Tax, unrigs the system to promote a healthy economy, and implements a territorial system of taxation so businesses large and small can compete.

2017 represents an important opportunity to provide financial security to hardworking taxpayers by signing tax reform into law. We applaud the work that each of you have already taken to ensure tax reform is enacted in 2017 and stand ready to continue working with you in the second half of the year.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Christine Harbin
Vice President of External Affairs, Americans for Prosperity

James L. Martin
Founder & Chairman, 60 Plus Association

Dan Greenberg
President, Advance Arkansas Institute

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Daniel Schneider
Executive Director, American Conservative Union

Steve Pociask
President, American Consumer Institute

Tim Doyle
Vice President of Policy & General Counsel, American Council for Capital Formation

Sean Noble
President, American Encore

Lisa B. Nelson
CEO, American Legislative Exchange Council

Ashley N. Varner
Executive Director, ALEC Action

Mark J. Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs, American Target Advertising, Inc.

Kevin Waterman
Chair, Annapolis Center Right Coalition Meeting (Maryland)

Scot Mussi
President, Arizona Free Enterprise Club

Dan Weber
President, Association of Mature American Citizens

Lindsay Boyd
Policy Director, Beacon Center of Tennessee

Robert Alt
President and CEO, The Buckeye Institute (Ohio)

Garrett Ballengee
Executive Director, Cardinal Institute for West Virginia Public Policy

Bob Carlstrom
President, The Carlstrom Group

Steve Buckstein
Founder, Cascade Policy Institute (Oregon)

Kent Lassman
President, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Jeffrey Mazella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Andrew F. Quinlan
President, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Peter Nelson
Vice President, Center of the American Experiment (Minnesota)

Chip Faulkner
Associate Director, Citizens for Limited Taxation (Massachusetts)

Chuck Muth
President, Citizen Outreach (Nevada)

Ralph Benko
Conservative Columnist

Matthew Kandrach
President, Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Thomas Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Edward King
President, Defense Priorities Initiative

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

Craig Richardson
President, E&E Action

Robert Roper
President, Ethan Allen Institute (Vermont)

Timothy Head
Executive Director, Faith & Freedom Coalition

Palmer Schoening
President, Family Business Coalition

Richard Watson
Chairman, Florida Center Right Coalition

Annette Meeks
CEO, Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Nathan Nascimento
Vice President of Policy, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce

Adam Brandon
President, FreedomWorks

David Barnes
Policy Director, Generation Opportunity

Kelly McCutchen
President and CEO, Georgia Public Policy Foundation

Rodolfo E. Milani
Trustee, HACER (Hispanic American Center for Economic Research)

Joseph Bast
CEO, The Heartland Institute

Mario H. Lopez
President, Hispanic Leadership Fund

William A. Estrada, Esq.
Director of Federal Relations, Home School Legal Defense Association

Wayne Hoffman
President, Idaho Freedom Foundation

Jon Caldara
President, Independence Institute (Colorado)

Heather R. Higgins
President and CEO, Independent Women's Voice

Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Sal J. Nuzzo
Vice President of Policy, The James Madison Institute (Florida)

Kory Swanson
President & CEO, John Locke Foundation (North Carolina)

Dave Trabert
President, Kansas Policy Institute

Nancy Misasi
President, Lakeland Tea Party of Greater Wanaque Area (New Jersey)

John Tomicki
Executive Director, League of American Families

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Colin A. Hanna
President, Let Freedom Ring

Daniel Garza
Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative     

Brett Healy
President, The MacIver Institute (Wisconsin)

Michael LaFaive
Senior Director of Fiscal Policy, Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Michigan)

Carl Copeland
Executive Director, Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance

Mary Adams
Chair, Maine Center-right Coalition Meeting

Pem & Ruth Schaeffer
Maine Conservative Activists

Tom Davis
Maine Conservative Activist

Victoria Bucklin
Maine Conservative Activist

Henry Kriegel
President, Montanans for Tax Reform

Tim Jones
Former Speaker, Missouri House of Representatives
State Chair, Missouri Center-Right Coalition

Harry C. Alford
President/CEO, National Black Chamber of Commerce

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President, National Taxpayers Union

The Honorable William O'Brien
Former Speaker, New Hampshire House of Representatives
Co-chair, New Hampshire Center Right Coalition

Grant Malloy
Chair, Orlando Florida Center Right

Jonathan Small
President, Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs

Jeff Kropf
Executive Director, Oregon Capitol Watch

Daniel J. Erspamer
CEO, Pelican Institute for Public Policy (Louisiana)

Lorenzo Montanari
Executive Director, Property Rights Alliance

Don Racheter
President, Public Interest Institute (Iowa)

Charlie Gerow
President, Quantum Communications (Pennsylvania)

Eli Lehrer
President, R Street Institute

Paul Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation (New Mexico)

Mike Stenhouse
CEO, Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Bill Whipple
President & Director, Secure America’s Future Economy (SAFE)

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips
President, Tea Party Nation

Jenny Beth Martin
Co-Founder & CEO, Tea Party Patriots

Kevin D. Roberts, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Mike Thompson
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy (Virginia)

Carl Bearden
Executive Director, United for Missouri

Jonathan Downing
CEO, Wyoming Liberty Group


19 Conservative Groups Support Rep. Roskam’s Free File Bill

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Posted by Alexander Hendrie on Friday, September 8th, 2017, 10:30 AM PERMALINK

In a letter to Ways and Means Tax Policy Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam (R-IL), 19 conservative groups including ATR urged support for H.R. 3641, the Free File Permanency Act.

As the letter notes, the Free File tax preparation program guarantees that millions of taxpayers across the country have access to quality, free, and efficient online tax preparation and electronic filing services. It should be made permanent so that taxpayers continue to get this relief. 

The full letter can be found here and is below.

September 8, 2017

The Honorable Peter Roskam

United States House of Representatives

2246 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Roskam:

On behalf of the undersigned conservative, free market organizations we write in support of H.R. 3641, the “Free File Permanency Act of 2017.”

By making the Free File tax preparation program permanent, this legislation guarantees that millions of taxpayers across the country will continue to have access to quality, free, and efficient online tax preparation and electronic filing services.

Since its inception in 2008, Free File – which was created as a public-private partnership between software companies and the IRS – has served more than 50 million taxpayers and saved $1.3 billion in preparation costs.

Today, the tax code is more than 75,000 pages long and contains more than 2.4 million words. This complexity forces American families and businesses to spend more than 8.9 billion hours and $400 billion complying with the code every year. Against this complexity, it is difficult or impossible for most taxpayers to file a tax return without assistance.

For many individuals and families, Free File is the solution to navigating tax complexity. The program offers roughly 70 percent of taxpayer’s access to electronic filing software provided by leading private companies free of charge. In 2016, any taxpayer with less than $64,000 in adjusted gross income qualified for the program. 

The IRS estimates that electronically filing tax returns through the Free File program saves the federal government approximately $13 Million each year. In addition, the program ensures that taxpayers are protected with the right to privacy and access to strict cybersecurity measures to prevent fraud.

Free File is a proven success in addressing tax complexity, and it is a vastly superior alternative to government controlled tax preparation, such as the system proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in S. 912, the misnamed Tax Filing Simplification  Act of 2017.

Giving the federal government control over tax preparation would be a disaster. This would involve giving the IRS more taxpayer dollars and new responsibilities at a time when the agency already struggles to complete existing responsibilities and has misused finite resources on numerous occasions.

Government-run tax preparation would also represent a conflict of interest and could undermine the rights of taxpayers. Under a system of government-run tax preparation, the IRS would have an incentive to overcharge or withhold information from taxpayers, while few taxpayers would know whether they were paying the correct amount of taxes.

Given the success of the Free File program and the failure of the IRS to manage its own responsibilities, the best path forward should be making Free File permanent. Since its inception, Free File has been a proven success story in helping American families comply with the absurdly complex tax code. As such, we urge all members of Congress to support your important legislation.

Sincerely,

Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Phil Kerpen
President, American Commitment

Daniel Schnieder
Executive Director, American Conservative Union

Dan Weber
CEO, Association of Mature American Citizens

Norm Singleton
President, Campaign for Liberty

Bob Carlstrom
President, The Carlstrom Group

Jeffrey Mazzella
President, Center for Individual Freedom

Tom Schatz
President, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Katie McAuliffe
Executive Director, Digital Liberty

George Landrith
President, Frontiers of Freedom

Andrew Langer

President, Institute for Liberty

Tom Giovanetti
President, Institute for Policy Innovation

Seton Motley
President, Less Government

Colin Hanna
President, Let Freedom Ring

Charles Sauer
President, Market Institute

Pete Sepp
President, National Taxpayers Union

Karen Kerrigan
President & CEO, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

David Williams
President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Berin Szoka
President, Tech Freedom

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore


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