Accountants in Congress describe their perfect tax code

Producer
Yahoo Finance

It was a party-line vote in December when Congress passed the biggest tax reform since President Reagan’s tax cuts in 1986. But even though 227 Republican House members and all but one Republican senator voted for the bill (Sen. John McCain did not vote; he was in Arizona with his family), many have different ideas when it comes to the perfect tax plan.

Yahoo Finance traveled to the nation’s capital to talk to accountants who are also members of Congress. We reached out to all 12 members listed as an accountant on the House Library clerk’s list and two senators; seven members agreed to speak with us — six Republicans and one Democrat.

(Note: the list has since been updated. Originally, Rep. David Joyce of Ohio was listed as an accountant, though he is a former prosecutor, and Rep. Peter Viclosky of Indiana was not on the original list.)

When asked “what is your perfect tax code?” responses ran the gamut, from a national sales tax, proposed my Rep. Mike Conaway (R – Texas), to a simple W-2 submission by Rep. Jim Renacci (R – Ohio). Rep. Conaway acknowledged a national sales tax would hit lower-income earners the hardest, so he proposed a “prebate” for them.

Rep. Bill Flores (R – Texas), would keep the income tax system, but drop the rates and number of deductions; he would only have two: charitable contributions and mortgage interest.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R – Wisc.) would drastically overhaul the corporate tax system by replacing all C Corporations, which are taxed as businesses, with pass-through entities, in which the business income passes through to the individual and is taxed at the personal rate.

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