Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., on January 6 introduced legislation, the Tax Code Termination Bill (HR 27), which would sunset the current Internal Revenue Code by December 31, 2019, and calls on Congress to approve a new federal tax system by July of the same year. The measure has previously passed the House twice, first in 1998 and then in 2000.
“In the coming weeks, many Americans will start the process of filing their taxes. Anyone who has done this before is well aware of the frustrations caused by our current tax code,” said Goodlatte. “Navigating the impossibly complex and ever-growing tax code is a major burden on families and businesses. The tax code should work for Americans—not against them.”
In reintroducing the bill, Goodlatte noted that, even though tax reform has been discussed for many years, there has been no major action to simplify the tax code. “We must force Congress to tackle tax reform head on,” he said. “The best way forward is to scrap the current tax code and start fresh.”
Goodlatte added that his legislation would allow Congress to collectively decide what the new tax system should look like. He acknowledged that there are many competing alternatives, but having a set date to end the current tax code would force the issue and the debate, hopefully, to the top of the national agenda. “Whichever tax system is adopted, I am certain that if Congress is forced to address the issue we can create a tax code that is simpler, fairer and better for our economy than the one we are forced to comply with today,” said Goodlatte.
Thirty-two cosponsors have signed on in support of the Goodlatte legislation. The measure has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee for further consideration.