The Joint Committee on Taxation has suggested over 60 options to close the $311 billion gap between taxes owed and collected. The report, requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Committee on Finance, and ranking member Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., consists of numerous revenue raisers, in addition to compliance provisions. The largest revenue raiser, to the tune of $164 billion, is a proposal to include in FICA wages salary reduction amounts used to provide benefits under a cafeteria plan or to provide qualified transportation fringe benefits. Proposals affecting individual income tax include a repeal of the exclusion for employer-provided care, making the dependent care credit the exclusive means for receiving tax benefits for dependent care expenses; a modification of the "kiddie tax" by increasing the age of children to which the kiddie tax provisions apply from under 14 to under 18; and a repeal of the deduction for interest on home equity indebtedness. "High-priced lobbyists won't be able to eat their eggs Benedict when they see this report," Grassley said. Grassley said that he was especially pleased to see the report's extensive discussion about possible changes in the law governing nonprofits and charitable donations. "These recommendations should help to remove the rose-colored glasses that a lot of people use to view tax-exempt organizations," he said.
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