O'Neill: Tax Code is 'Absolute Gibberish' - Overhaul Pending

Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill is overseeing a team of over 100 tax policy experts at the Treasury Department who are putting together a package of tax reform options to present to the White House right after the first of the year. Designed to simplify the Internal Revenue Code, possible options include replacing the corporate income tax with a value-added tax, offering businesses a one-time investment credit, reforming the individual and corporate Alternative Minimum Tax, streamlining definitions such as the current five different definitions of "child" that appear in the Code, simplifying regulations on savings bond sales, and much more.


"The way I look at this, we essentially
have a tax system that's held together by
chewing gum and chicken wire."


Mr. O'Neill, long a proponent of tax reform, said, "There's a whole lot of people who don't like this abomination of a tax code, and I'm one of them. It's 9,500 pages of absolute gibberish."

Assistant Treasury Secretary for Tax Policy, Pamela F. Olson agrees. "The way I look at this, we essentially have a tax system that's held together by chewing gum and chicken wire," she said.

The tax reform package will include proposals for immediate changes that can simplify the tax code as well as suggestions for long-term changes. Mr. O'Neill has been gathering support for tax change from audiences around the country. "I'm getting plenty of reinforcement," he said.

The complexion of the House and Senate may change after the upcoming elections, and these new proposals won't be disclosed until next year. It will be up to the new Congress to determine how much tax change will be effected in the foreseeable future.

You may like these other stories...

Federal judge tosses IRS lawsuitsBernie Becker of The Hill reported that a federal judge sided with the IRS on Thursday, tossing out two lawsuits filed against the tax agency over its improper scrutiny of Tea Party groups...
Amidst the dark clouds hovering over the IRS this year—ranging from the lingering Tea Party scandal to other improprieties to damaging budget cuts—at least there's a ray of sunshine in a new report from the...
SEC, Big Four Chinese affiliates make progress in talks over audit documentsMichael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.
Nov 5Join CPA thought leader and peer reviewer Rob Cameron and learn ways to improve the outcome of your peer reviews while maximizing the value of your engagement workflow.
Nov 12This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Nov 18In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA tackles what to do when bad things happen to good spreadsheets.