A recent guest view by The Portland (Maine) Tribune, titled “Proof that the U.S. tax code is rigged,” gave three main reasons for tax unfairness. First, the obscene, un-spendable and rapidly growing wealth of the rich is not taxed. Second, the rich use all legal methods to only pay their required tax. Third, even though the editorial states they are not talking about tax evasion, they claim that billions of dollars of income are not reported. Their proposed solutions are to tax wealth like income and to hire thousands more IRS agents to track down unreported income.

Now, I agree that our current income tax system is flawed, but the faults are not the result of being wealthy or from using all the legal tax code provisions to only pay what is required. Rather, it lies with our politicians who created our enormously complex tax code and then routinely make faux reforms that somehow favor their financial supporters.

Attempting to figure out someone’s wealth and hiring thousands more IRS agents to track down unreported income will not solve the problem, it will only make it worse. What is needed is a simple tax code that requires only minimal paperwork, minimal governmental oversight, and collects the tax at the source of the income. Social security, Medicare and sales taxes are examples that meet those criteria.

Until our tax system is simplified and free of political favoritism, it will never be fair.

 

JEFF MANNING, Lewiston

 

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