Commentary by Mark Hurt
The current tax code is comprised of 74,608 unreadable and too often undecipherable legalistic pages, or more than 10,000 words. Most novels you might read, just for example, run about 200 to 300 pages (62,500 words). This has to change! For personal income tax reform, President Trump seeks to cut taxes and simplify the tax structure.
President Trump seeks to expand tax benefits for families, including a larger allowable deduction for child care expenses that could be taken whether a taxpayer itemizes or not and would also be allowed for up to four children (the current law only allows for two children). This is a start. We must lower personal income taxes and provide a code actually capable of being understood. For example, the standard deduction should double to $15,000 (single) and $30,000 (married), from the current levels of $6,350 and $12,700, respectively, thereby helping lower income workers.
I would like to put an exclamation point on the president’s persistent mantra of jobs, jobs, jobs! Corporate tax reform is just the first step to achieving that growth and opening the door to more business investment in the U.S. We start by encouraging money to return to us. This means a tax cut on businesses that want to move money back into the United States. Currently, American businesses have their hands tied when it comes to competing internationally. Among those countries known as the Group of Seven (Canada, USA, Germany, Japan, France, UK, Italy), only the USA taxes their business transactions outside the country twice.
All but the USA use what is known as a Territorial Taxation System; in other words, businesses are taxed by the territory (country) in which the business is conducted but not by their home country. The USA is the only country that uses a Worldwide Tax System, in which businesses pay the same taxes as do companies in the six countries listed above when conducting business abroad but the USA then imposes taxes on these same profits when the money is returned to the USA. This creates a disincentive to return money to the USA. Smart businesses simply keep their money outside the USA (currently estimated to be $ 2.1 trillion) and use it to invest abroad. If we change this, think of the growth at home that could be spurred by the returning $2.1 trillion – jobs, jobs, jobs!
Mark Hurt is an attorney who is a Republican candidate for Indiana’s U.S. Senate in 2018.