By Jay Heflin - 09/07/10 07:30 PM EDT
"The report showed that simplification is the key to a fairer and more efficient tax code, something we have made the cornerstone of our bipartisan reform efforts," the senators said in a joint statement. "This important report will be a great resource as Congress considers ways to make the tax code simpler, more efficient and more fair for taxpayers and businesses."
Congressional efforts to reform the tax code are expected to get under way next year, no matter which party controls Capitol Hill after November's election. Some even expect tax reform proposals beyond the one offered by the senators to surface shortly after the new year.
Like the simplification suggestions by Obama's tax reform panel, the Wyden-Gregg bill provides taxpayers with the option of having the IRS fill out their tax forms; raises the standard deduction so taxpayers wouldn't have to itemize; and lowers the corporate tax rate, which is a key issue for U.S. multinational firms.
The senators' proposal lowers the corporate rate from 35 percent to 24 percent, which is statutorily lower than most industrialized nations. Their proposal also broadens the corporate tax base by getting rid of several tax cuts aimed at particular industries.
Late last month, Obama's Economic Recovery and Advisory Board offered up several suggestions for streamlining the tax code.
Like other studies before it, the panel, led by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, found the tax code confusing, making it hard for taxpayers to comply with its laws.