Over 90 tax professors have joined the tax sections of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association in asking a senator to drop his attempt to block the confirmation of Eric Solomon for assistant Treasury secretary for Tax Policy.

The groups have sent letters to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee, asking that he drop his threats to block the nomination. Baucus said in a statement last week that he was prepared to hold up the appointment, unless the Treasury issues a comprehensive plan to close the tax gap by the end of September.

Most recently, the Internal Revenue Service estimated a gross tax gap for the 2001 tax year to be approximately $345 billion, and estimated it would recover about $55 billion of the gap.

Separately, in testimony before a Senate committee, the Government Accountability Office highlighted new areas for possible attention in reducing the tax gap, though it did not make any new recommendations.

After noting that tax reform would be the most effective avenue to reducing the tax gap, the GAO said other measures to consider implementing would be:

  • Reporting the cost, or basis, of securities sales;
  • Devoting additional resources to enforcement; and,
  • Using multiple approaches, based on periodically measuring noncompliance and its causes, setting reduction goals, leveraging technology, optimizing IRS's allocation of resources and evaluating the results of any initiatives.

Previously on WebCPA:Tax Groups Tell Baucus to Back Off Solomon Block (July 24, 2006)

Solomon: Tax Reform, Tax Compliance on Radar (July 14, 2006)

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