Washington (July 22, 2002) -- Congressman Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has introduced the Tax Simplification Act of 2002.  The proposed legislation contains numerous measures intended to drastically simplify the tax code.


"Our current tax code is a mess," said Portman.  "It is filled with provisions that are complicated, confusing and contradictory.  My legislation will take significant steps toward making our tax code simpler so that taxpayers can spend less time calculating their taxes."


The bill would simplify taxes for both families and businesses, and clarify some of the code's most confusing provisions.  For example, the current tax code has five different definitions of a 'qualifying child' and nine different definitions of 'qualifying higher education expenses.'  The Portman bill would create one uniform definition of each concept.


The bill would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, and would simplify capital gains calculations by adopting a uniform percentage deduction in lieu of multiple tax rates.  It would also create a "Small Savers" exemption that would exempt the first $500 of dividend or interest income. This will keep many taxpayers who save just a small amount each year from having to itemize.


-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff


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