HEARING ADVISORY: Camp Announces Hearing on How the Tax Code’s Burdens on Individuals and Families Demonstrate the Need for Comprehensive Tax Reform

April 6, 2011 — Hearing Advisory   

Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, today announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on the special burdens that the tax code imposes on individual taxpayers and families and on the need for comprehensive tax reform to address these problems.  The hearing will take place on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building, beginning at 10:00 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.


As mid-April approaches each year, individuals and households across the country face the daunting task of fulfilling the one civic duty that touches more Americans than any other – filing accurate and timely Federal income tax returns.  While many criticize the individual income tax system primarily for imposing too large a financial burden on taxpayers in terms of dollars owed to the government, individual taxpayers struggle just as much with the tax code’s mounting complexity and uncertainty.  According to recent testimony from the National Taxpayer Advocate, the complexity of the current tax system is the single most serious problem facing taxpayers today, leading nearly 90 percent of Americans either to pay a professional to prepare their tax returns or to purchase tax preparation software to help them file their own returns.  Indeed, over the past 25 years, the tax code has increasingly come to feature hidden marginal tax rates and has seen a remarkable proliferation of redundant and confusing tax subsidies that, in many cases, may not be fully achieving their intended objectives.  Moreover, in recent years temporary tax rates and other temporary provisions have made it increasingly challenging for families to plan their personal finances. 

In announcing this hearing, Chairman Camp said, “As the deadline for filing individual tax returns approaches, the time for simplifying and stabilizing the tax code for individuals and families is also upon us.  With so many Americans struggling to meet their tax compliance responsibilities, Congress and the President need to work together to achieve a tax system that is fair, simple, and efficient.  While some seem to prefer a ‘business-only’ approach to tax reform, we owe it to the hard-working taxpayers we represent to ensure that they are not left out of this discussion.  This hearing will help the Committee better understand the many problems that plague our tax system as it affects individuals and families across the country.”


The hearing will examine some of the difficulties that individuals and families face in navigating the current tax code, including both compliance burdens and challenges faced in making long-term financial decisions when confronted with confusing, overlapping, and frequently temporary tax preferences.  


Please Note: Any person(s) and/or organization(s) wishing to submit written comments 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, https://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 document, in compliance with the formatting requirements listed below, by the close of business on Wednesday, April 27, 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) 225-3625 or (202) 225-2610.


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 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 at http://www.waysandmeans.house.gov/.

SUBCOMMITTEE: Full Committee