On Tax Day, Rep. Baca Supports Plan to Protect Tax Payers

Statement

By:  Joe Baca, Sr.
Date: April 15, 2008
Location: Washington, DC


On Tax Day, Rep. Baca Supports Plan to Protect Tax Payers

As taxpayers in California completed their tax returns, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) joined a majority in the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 5719, the Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act. This bipartisan legislation, which simplifies critical aspects of the U.S. tax code to protect middle class families, passed with a 238 - 179 vote.

"Tax season has become an annual nightmare for too many Americans," said Rep. Baca. "I am proud to back legislation that simplifies the tax code, and ensures taxpayers who play by the rules get the assistance they need and deserve."

H.R. 5719 takes action on behalf of America's taxpayers. The legislation stops taxpayer harassment by ending the private collection of federal taxes. The bill also strengthens taxpayer protections from identity theft and tax fraud, simplifies cell phone tax reporting and expands tax help for low-income taxpayers.

The Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act also includes measures to make the tax code easier to use and understand. Currently, the tax code contains more than seven hundred provisions affecting individuals and more than fifteen hundred affecting businesses. The confusing tax code costs taxpayers more than $1 billion annually because taxpayers make the wrong decisions on tax forms.

H.R. 5719 also takes necessary steps to close some of our largest corporate loopholes, and stop federal contractors from using foreign subsidiaries to evade Social Security and other employment taxes. Currently, many of our largest companies avoid paying their fair share of Social Security and Medicare taxes by creating shell companies in the Cayman Islands. The Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act closes this loophole, which costs American taxpayers almost $100 million a year.

"It is wrong for some of our biggest businesses to avoid their fair share of taxes by using corporate loopholes that leave the American family having to pick up the tab," added Rep. Baca. "It is long past time our leaders worked to right this wrong, and ensure an even playing field for all Americans."

On the occasion of tax day, Rep. Baca also vowed to continue to work so that more American tax dollars are used to rebuild America, not Iraq.

"The typical American taxpayer's entire federal tax bill pays for less than one half of one second of the war in Iraq," concluded Rep. Baca. "America continues to spend hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq while important needs like education and healthcare remain under-funded at home. On tax day, we must recommit ourselves to the real priorities of the American people and bring a responsible end to our presence in Iraq."