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Financial Planning > Tax Planning > Tax Reform

Why Congress Won't Simplify the Tax Code (NPR)

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Provisions to the tax code are adopted to fine-tune various tax breaks to ensure they will function appropriately in every specific situation that could arise. However, Congress pays little attention to how new provisions will interact with existing provisions. This is how the tax code ballooned to 5,296 pages of complicated details. Most agree the tax code must be simplified, but lawmakers do not favor tax reform enough to put it at the top of the agenda. Fundamental tax reform, such as a move to consumption taxation, could reduce complexity, but some say not to the extent some advocates promise. Further, such reform would have to confront the ideological issues more modest simplification efforts are able to side-step. The tax code just might be too complex for easy reform.