Maintaining that there's near-universal agreement that the nation's tax code is too complex, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, officially opened the committee's hearings titled "Kick-off for Tax Reform: Tackling the Tax Code." Grassley said that he had no preconceived notion of which direction tax reform should proceed, "whether we're talking about a flat tax, national retail sales tax, value-added tax or substantial modification of the current system."

The Finance Committee tax staff is currently developing simplification proposals in all income tax areas.

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