By Peter Roskam
Earlier this year, Americans across the nation filed their taxes. Many paid an accountant a decent sum in the hopes that, somewhere in the 70,000-plus pages of complicated tax code, they could identify every deduction they qualified for and reduce their overall tax burden.
Most people don't dare fill out their own tax return because they worry that the IRS will come after them if they make a mistake. They either hire someone or buy special computer programs to get it done. The extra length of the tax code hasn't made it any better; instead, it has become bloated by special interest groups that have inserted loopholes and carveouts while making it more and more complicated.
It's time to make a real change to our tax code that will help middle-income families and small businesses that need it. This bill does just that. By reducing the tax code to fewer than 500 pages, Americans at every income level will receive tax relief with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
While the wealthiest Americans continue to pay the top individual tax rate, this bill lowers tax rates on low- and middle-income Americans and significantly increases the standard deduction, which means hardworking Americans can immediately take home more of their paychecks.
We set out to lower rates for hardworking Americans and make it so simple and straightforward that most people will fill out their tax return on something as simple as a postcard. Our bill provides the tax relief people need to save for retirement, save for their kids' college, pay off their mortgages earlier, or pay for something around the house that they've had to put off.
American business, too, will benefit. The current tax code locks out investment in the United States and punishes a company that wants to bring its own profits home to invest here. That's got to stop, and by updating our tax code we can make the United States the place where business wants to expand, build and grow.
That means bigger paychecks and more opportunities.
This is a transformational moment. Today, we took a critical step towards putting more money into the pockets of Americans. As tax reform becomes a reality, I'm encouraged by the optimism and support of the small business owners throughout my district and across the nation.