New Tax Act Under Review by Congress

The House Ways and Means Committee is analyzing the Tax Simplification Act of 2002, a bill introduced late last week by Congressman Rob Portman, R-OH, and co-sponsored by 10 other Republican congressmen. The bill includes a repeal of the corporate and individual Alternative Minimum Tax, acceleration of some of the features of the Bush tax bill enacted last year, and an annual exclusion for $250 ($500 for married taxpayers filing jointly) of interest and dividend income.

Additional provisions include a 50% capital gain deduction that would replace the current 17 different rates at which capital gains can be taxed.

The bill, H.R. 5166, is filled with many provisions that remove outdated portions of the tax code, and other provisions simplify and clarify current areas of the code that are confusing.

"Our current tax code is a mess," said Representative Portman in a press release. "It is filled with provisions that are complicated, confusing and contradictory. My legislation will take significant steps toward making our tax code simpler so that taxpayers can spend less time calculating their taxes."

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