Ten more days till Tax Day, and some families face filing obstacles. NPR tells the story of an engaged couple with a baby on the way and children from previous marriages. For them, filing taxes is no simple task. TPC’s Elaine Maag explained that their paperwork “can be complicated because their lives are complicated as well.” This increases the chance of errors and improper payments of tax subsidies like the Earned Income Tax Credit. Alan Viard of the American Enterprise Institute reminded listeners that “Those improper payments may not be any type of deliberate wrongdoing.”
Speaking of tax season… The Government Accountability Office reports that the IRS has improved taxpayer services and processes while managing its resources in a more flexible way this tax season. Return processing has gone smoothly so far, thanks in part to an additional $290 million increase in 2016 funding. But the president of the National Treasury Employees Union says the additional money won’t be nearly enough to maintain good customer service.
Next week—a TPC panel on the best tax ideas from presidential campaign. Presidential hopefuls have made taxes a central policy issue. Some are proposing bold new taxes, others offer new tax systems, and others are rethinking how the tax code should affect low- and middle-income households. Next Wednesday, TPC’s Howard Gleckman will moderate a discussion of the politics and policies behind these proposals. Panelists include TPC’s Len Burman, Joe Rosenberg, Elaine Maag, and Adele Morris. You’ll be able to watch the April 13 event live here.
And on the Hill on April 13… The House Small Business panel’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access hosts a hearing on small business tax simplification and reform. The House Ways & Means panel’s Subcommittee on Tax Policy will host the second in its series of hearings on fundamental tax reform.
Also next week—a Democratic presidential debate. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will face off next Thursday, five days before the New York primary. Sanders argues that Clinton’s support of a trade agreement with Panama opened the door to tax evasion by Americans. Meanwhile the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s estimated that Sanders's tax and spending proposals could add between $2 trillion and $15 trillion to the national debt over 10 years. Will these issues be addressed or will the candidates just dig deep and talk about their tax plans? Can’t hardly wait.
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