Thomas Announces Hearing on Tax Reform
Congressman Bill Thomas (R-CA), Chairman of the Committee on Ways and
Means, today announced that the Committee will hold a hearing on tax
reform. The hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 8, 2005, in
the main Committee hearing room, 1100 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. Witnesses will
include scholars from Columbia University, University of Michigan,
University of California at Berkeley, and the Heritage Foundation.
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.
On January 7, 2005, President Bush established the Advisory Panel on
Federal Tax Reform. The Panel has been holding hearings throughout the
country to solicit the opinions of leading experts, academics, and
practitioners on reforming the tax code. Recognizing the burden imposed
by the current Federal tax code in terms of compliance and growth
incentives, the President's stated goal is to explore options to reform
the tax code to make it simpler, fairer, and more pro-growth. The Panel
shall report to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury by
July 31, 2005.
More than 14,000 changes have been made to the tax code since the last
major reform effort in 1986. The tax code imposes economic distortions
that cost the U.S. economy as much as 50 cents for every additional
dollar raised, and causes taxpayers to waste 3.2 billion hours and as
much as $100 billion complying with an increasingly complex system.
The 2005 Economic Report of the President noted: "The current
Federal tax system is unnecessarily complex and distorts incentives for
work, savings, and investment. As a result, it imposes large burdens on
taxpayers and on the U.S. economy as a whole in the form of high
compliance costs and distortions in economic decisions."
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Thomas stated, "In anticipation
of recommendations from the Treasury Secretary on tax reform, this
hearing will be the first of several to inform Congress on the need for
and benefits of reforming the current tax code."
FOCUS OF THE HEARING :
The focus of the hearing will be on attaining a broad overview of the
principle economic objectives of tax reform with a focus on fairness,
simplicity, and impacts on growth. In particular, the hearing will
explore: 1) ways to make compliance and understanding of the tax code
simpler for American workers and businesses, 2) economic distortions and
incentives imposed by the tax code, and 3) various measures of tax
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 "109\th/ Congress" from the menu entitled,
"Hearing Archives" (http://waysandmeans.house.gov/Hearings.asp?congress=17).
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, completing
all informational forms and clicking "submit" on the final
page, an email will be sent to the address which you supply confirming
your interest in providing a submission for the record. You MUST
REPLY to the email and ATTACH your submission as a
Word or WordPerfect document, in compliance with the formatting
requirements listed below, by close of business Wednesday, June 22,
2005. 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.
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
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.
Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the
World Wide Web at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/
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