House GOP introduces first flat tax bill of the Congress

Couples would get to deduct from this tax the first $30,000, and individuals or married couples filing singly would deduct about $15,000. A deduction of $6,500 would also apply for each dependent child. The bill would allow for increases to these figures in line with inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index, and includes language saying that increasing the tax rates or reducing the standard deductions would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate.

Companies would receive the same rates -- 19 percent in the first two years, followed by a 17 percent rate. Some analysts have said a revenue-neutral flat tax would be in the neighborhood of 20 percent.

The bill would dramatically cut the statutory corporate tax rate in the U.S., from the current 35 percent. But it is less clear what effect this change would have on the effective corporate tax rate. Some analysts estimate that the effective rate for companies is 23 percent, given their ability to shift money to more favorable tax regimes.

Others have said the effective rate for some companies is less than 5 percent, which could mean an increase in taxes for these companies under the proposal.

H.R. 1040 was sponsored by Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Dennis Ross (R-Fla.).