“The tax code is a disaster.”
That was the message U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) brought to the Naperville Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.
Roskam’s district includes a part of Naperville.
“We have fallen behind the rest of the world,” Roskam said, and he blames America’s system of taxation for that happening.
Roskam said that bipartisan support for tax reform does exist in Washington, and stressed that it could not be done on a partisan basis.
He advocated starting from scratch on a tax code that Americans spend 6.7 billion hours complying with every year. He said the right appoach would have an individual tax based on income, effectively ruling out a national sales tax.
Roskam wants two tax brackets: 25 percent for top earners and 10 percent for everyone else.
He also stressed that a new tax code should be revenue neutral, not reducing or increasing the amount of money flowing to Washington.
But Roskam also said that the burden of the tax code should be distributed throughout the electorate and should not fall disproportionately on poor people.
Caroline Harris, U.S. Chamber of Commerce tax counselor, echoed Roskam’s sentiments, saying at the Naperville event that tax reform needs to be “comprehensive.”
She said that the United States had the highest corporate tax rate in the world, while other countries had “slashed their tax rates ... we are not moving in the right direction.”
Harris’ other proposals are to make the tax code more permanent, thereby eliminating the need for extending various items in the code, and assuring taxpayers that the transition to a new code would be fair.
Christina Immelman, CPA and partner with Naperville-based Sikich, said that the tax code definitely needs reform and stressed the desirability of lowering rates and focusing on deductions rather than tax credits, which she said could be overly complicated.