HEARING ADVISORY: Chairman Camp Announces First in a Series of Hearings on Fundamental Tax Reform

First Ways and Means Hearing of the 112th Congress to Examine the Burdens Imposed by the Current Federal Income Tax System and the Need for Reform
January 19, 2011 — Hearing Advisory   
Committee Activity   
Tax Policy    Full Committee   

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) today announced that – pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 2(g)(3), and with the concurrence of the Ranking Minority Member – the Committee on Ways and Means will hold a hearing on the costs imposed on families, employers, and the economy at large by the current structure of the Federal income tax.  The hearing will take place on Thursday, January 20, 2011, in 1100 Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 9:00 A.M. 

In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only.  However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.  A list of invited witnesses will follow.

BACKGROUND:

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the bipartisan Tax Reform Act of 1986 (Pub. L. No. 99-514) – landmark legislation that broadened the tax base by closing loopholes and curtailing tax expenditures, while dramatically reducing marginal tax rates on both individuals and businesses.  Since then, marginal rates have gradually risen again, while the tax base has been narrowed significantly by the enactment of myriad new tax preferences.  These tax preferences, which frequently favor certain groups and activities over others, add substantial complexity to the tax code and increase the compliance and administrative burdens on taxpayers and the Internal Revenue Service alike.

The costs, both in terms of money and time, of complying with Federal tax laws – in addition to the vast resources poured into sophisticated tax planning and tax-motivated transactions – deprive both households and businesses of capital needed for more productive uses.  Ensuring long-term prosperity in the face of increasing global competition and acute fiscal pressures requires the Congress to re-examine the tax code to determine the specific ways in which the current structure of the Federal income tax discourages job creation and economic growth.  

In announcing this hearing, Chairman Camp said, “This hearing marks the beginning of a dialogue that the President and the Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – must have with the American people about broad-based tax reform that will allow families to thrive and employers to create jobs.  With nine out of ten families either hiring tax preparers or purchasing tax software in order to file their taxes, it is clear that the tax code is too complex, too time-consuming and too costly for our families and businesses.  We have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world, and our small businesses are struggling with continued uncertainty about individual tax rates and new regulations.  It is this Committee’s responsibility to examine ways to reform the code so that it won’t be a continued barrier to economic growth and job creation.”

FOCUS OF THE HEARING:

The hearing will examine the economic and administrative burdens imposed by the current structure of the Federal income tax.  It will explore the cost of complexity borne by American families, the cost of a corporate tax system that is increasingly out-of-step with the rest of the world, and the broader cost to the U.S. economy of a tax system that fails to maximize job creation and impedes economic growth. 

DETAILS FOR SUBMISSION OF WRITTEN COMMENTS:

Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit for the hearing record must follow the appropriate link on the hearing page of the Committee website and complete the informational forms. From the Committee homepage, http://waysandmeans.house.gov, select “Hearings.”  Select the hearing for which you would like to submit, and click on the link entitled, “Click here to provide a submission for the record.”  Once you have followed the online instructions, submit all requested information. ATTACH your submission as a Word or WordPerfect document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Thursday, February 3, 2011.  Finally, please note that due to the change in House mail policy, the U.S. Capitol Police will refuse sealed-package deliveries to all House Office Buildings. For questions, or if you encounter technical problems, please call (202) 225-1721 or (202) 225-3625.

FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS:

The Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.  As always, submissions will be included in the record according to the discretion of the Committee.  The Committee will not alter the content of your submission, but we reserve the right to format it according to our guidelines.  Any submission provided to the Committee by a witness, any supplementary materials submitted for the printed record, and any written comments in response to a request for written comments must conform to the guidelines listed below.  Any submission or supplementary item not in compliance with these guidelines will not be printed, but will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

1. All submissions and supplementary materials must be provided in Word or WordPerfect format and MUST NOT exceed a total of 10 pages, including attachments. Witnesses and submitters are advised that the Committee relies on electronic submissions for printing the official hearing record.

2. Copies of whole documents submitted as exhibit material will not be accepted for printing. Instead, exhibit material should be referenced and quoted or paraphrased.  All exhibit material not meeting these specifications will be maintained in the Committee files for review and use by the Committee.

3. All submissions must include a list of all clients, persons and/or organizations on whose behalf the witness appears.  A supplemental sheet must accompany each submission listing the name, company, address, telephone, and fax numbers of each witness.

The Committee seeks to make its facilities accessible to persons with disabilities.  If you are in need of special accommodations, please call 202-225-1721 or 202-226-3411 TTD/TTY in advance of the event (four business days notice is requested).  Questions with regard to special accommodation needs in general (including availability of Committee materials in alternative formats) may be directed to the Committee as noted above.

Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web athttp://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.

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