Banner Image: President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform
Header Image: Press Release


For Immediate Release

April 5,  2 005

WASHINGTON , DC - Senators Connie Mack and John Breaux, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, today announced that the Panel is inviting interested parties to submit ideas for reforming the tax code. These proposals should be submitted by April 29, 2005 . Guidelines for proposals are attached.

"At our six public meetings that were held all over the country, we learned about the complexities of the tax code and its impact on taxpayers," stated Senator Connie Mack, Chairman of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform. "This request for ideas to reform the tax code marks a shift of our focus from defining the problems in the current code to considering options for reform. We will be reviewing specific proposals for reform that have been offered in the past as well as new ideas that are submitted. We expect to hold more public meetings in the coming months to discuss these options and alternatives."

"It is important that we hear from Americans about the kind of tax system they want," said Senator John Breaux, Vice-Chairman of the Panel. "We look forward to receiving comments from all interested parties."

This is the Panel's second specific request for comments. In connection with its first request, the Panel received thousands of comments describing complexities and burdens, unfair aspects and distortions in the current tax system.

Information on how to submit comments as well as details on the format for comments are available at . Comments submitted in connection with this second request should be received by the Panel no later than April 29, 2005 . All comments submitted will be made available to the public.

The President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform was established by President Bush on January 7, 2005 . President Bush has charged the bipartisan panel with recommending reforms to the tax code that will make the U.S. tax system simpler, fairer and more growth oriented.

Further details are available on the Panel's website at .


Guidelines for Tax Reform Proposals

The Advisory Panel will recommend to the Secretary of the Treasury revenue-neutral policy options for reforming the tax code.

As directed by the President, these options should:

  • simplify the tax laws
  • share the burdens and benefits of the Federal tax structure in an appropriately progressive manner while recognizing the importance of homeownership and charity in American society
  • promote long-run economic growth and job creation by encouraging work effort, saving, and investment to strengthen the competitiveness of the United States in the global marketplace

The Advisory Panel is soliciting comments from interested parties regarding specific proposals to reform the tax code. Comments may include proposals to replace or comprehensively reform the existing tax system or proposals to reform particular aspects or elements of the current tax code . To assist the Advisory Panel in evaluating and comparing specific proposals for reform, supporters should provide the following information:

I. Description of Proposal . Proposals for comprehensive reform should include a description of the design of the proposal's components, including the following:

  • the tax base (income, consumption, hybrid)
  • exemptions, deductions, credits and exclusions
  • tax rate(s)
  • distribution of the tax burden (including provisions for relief for low-income individuals);
  • treatment of charitable giving
  • treatment of home ownership
  • collection method(s) and
  • treatment of businesses

Proposals to reform particular aspects or elements of the current code should include a specific description of the proposed changes and an explanation of which components of our tax system would be altered.

II. Impact of Proposal Relative to Current System . The description of the tax reform proposal should include an explanation of how it compares to our existing system in terms of the following factors:

  • simplicity (including transparency and stability)
  • fairness
  • economic growth and competitiveness
  • compliance and administration costs

III. Transition, Tradeoffs and Special Issues . The description of the tax reform proposal should include an explanation of any special issues or considerations, such as the tradeoffs that would be required, favorable/unfavorable treatment of particular industries or sectors within the economy, or the impact of transition from our current system to the proposed system.

As noted above, all options recommended by the Advisory Panel must be revenue neutral . The Advisory Panel invites commentators to provide information regarding the expected revenue impact of the proposal and, if possible, the assumptions made in estimating the revenue impact.

Proposal descriptions for comprehensive reform should be limited to 10 pages (excluding a one-page summary) of double-spaced written text in 12 point font. Proposals for reform of particular aspects or elements of the current tax code should be limited to 5 pages (excluding a one-page summary). Submissions should be received by Friday, April 29, 2005.


Last Updated: April 6, 2005