Taxes Essay Research Paper TaxesAn income tax

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Taxes Essay, Research Paper TaxesAn income tax is a tax based on the income of an individual or a business. In the United States, personal income tax accounts for approximately 45% of the total tax revenue.i Income tax was first used as a temporary method of helping finance the Civil War. Soon after the Civil War, the income tax was repealed. Then, in 1913 the 16th amendment was ratified to allow income taxation. At its simplest form there are three main types of income tax, a progressive tax, a regressive tax, and a proportional tax. A progressive tax means that taxpayers will be taxed at a higher percentage rate the higher their incomes are. A regressive tax collects a smaller percentage of income the higher the income. Lastly, a proportional tax would collect at the same

percentage rate for all incomes or a flat tax. At present, the American income tax system is, quite frankly, a mess. In my opinion, the current tax system is far too complex purely because of present “fair” actions to fix past abuses. Confusion, fairness and a lack of simplicity have been the major problems associated with the individual. Ex-President Jimmy Carter once called the U.S. tax code a disgrace to the human race.ii With tax reform on the lips of many on Capital Hill, many different tax reform proposals have floated to the surface. Of the many proposals a few standout. A Consumption Tax is one of the more favored tax reforms being discussed by politicians and economists alike. It entails paying tax only on that part of your income which was spent during the fiscal

year. This tax, as discussed in class, is a regressive tax due to the fact that the poor spend 95-100% of their income whereas the rich spend a much smaller percentage of their income. A Retail Sales Tax is another of the new tax proposals being discussed. It consists of a national sales tax of 6-8% coupled with no exemptions or any deductions. This tax is also regressive due to the same fact that the poor spend the majority of their income while the rich do not. Perhaps the most talked about tax reform proposal is the flat tax proposal. The proposed flat tax is being spearheaded by Richard Armey the Republican Representative from Texas. A flat tax consists of many different aspects that would promise a new way Americans would view taxes, good or bad. The flat tax would consist

of the following provisions:Americans would be taxed at the flat tax rate of 20% for the first three years that the taxwould be enacted. After the initial three years, the tax would fall to 17%. The tax ispaid on gross revenue. Taxes would no longer be paid on dividends, capital gains, orinterest. No deductions from gross income. Deductions for mortgage interest, retirementaccounts, charitable contributions, moving expenses, and child care would be eliminated. Each adult taxpayer would get a personal exemption of $13,100 and $5,300 for each childdependent.iii There have been several different variations of the same basic idea of a flat tax. In the early 1990’s, then-presidential candidate Jerry Brown had a slightly different version that version contained a flat tax that was

lower and more deductions were also included.iv Currently a Pennsylvania senator, Arlen Spector, is proposing a flat tax reform that resembles that of House of Majority Leader Dick Armey.v Although there are many advocates of the flat tax there are still hard line critics. They believe that the tax is a regressive one putting the rich and the middle class in the same tax bracket while leaving the poor behind. Critics also believe that the flat tax reform being proposed would be to “simplistic”. Simplicity is, on the other hand, one of the reasons that advocates of the flat tax believe it would be so warmly accepted by the American public. Found below is a possible tax return that could be the size of a post card. Possible Tax Return1.Gross Income __________2.Personal and