Alternative Tax System Research Paper

Goal: Research the concept of an alternate tax system, either Flat Income Tax or National Sales Tax, or a hybrid of the two, and compare this to the current tax code.

Objective: Many feel that the current tax system is both unfair and complex. Some of the richest people in America pay no tax, while a huge share of the tax burden falls on the rest. A mere glance at the tax code confirms that it is far too complex, with volumes of rules that no ordinary person could possibly comprehend. Although the current system gives tax professionals job security, it does lead many to believe that we can move to a more simplified system that would be fairer to them. Based upon your research, determine if an alternate tax system is viable, will provide equity for tax payers, meet social and economic obligations, and if simplicity can be obtained and is a valid argument for change.

Specific Requirements

Note: You do not need to address Corporate and Excise Tax considerations with this project. This assignment is focused on Individual Income Tax methods.

Develop a more comprehensive understanding of [proposed/conceived] alternative federal income tax systems. Compare and contrast your knowledge to the current income tax system and make a determination if one system would have benefits over another.

You are highly encouraged to compare and contrast different theories related to the topic, or different impacts related to socio-economic conditions. You may inform the reader up front what you thought your findings would be. What were your initial thoughts when you heard about the concept of a “flat tax” or “national tax? ” Did your thoughts change based on your research?
Once you have selected your alternative federal tax system, research and write an essay on the following:
Provide a detailed description of the alternate tax system that you’ve chosen to research.
Is the alternate method simplistic in computation, collection, reporting, etc.?
Discuss whether or not alternate tax fair. Who is more likely to think that it’s fair and who isn’t? Why?
Discuss how the alternate tax will affect different demographics, such as income class, age levels, and family situations. Also, what cultural rules or biases may affect the acceptance of the alternate tax?
Describe how the elimination of current adjustment from AGI, for AGI and credits against Income Tax impact the working poor, middle class, and the wealthy? Who may benefit? Who may pay more?
What are the ethics and social responsibility implications of the alternate plan? Does the proposed alternate plan address social needs or ability to pay?
Should the tax system be used to address social and economic policies and change? Would an alternate tax prevent what Congress has determined to be societal necessities [saving for retirement, home ownership, charitable giving, etc]? If so, how would this be addressed in an alternate tax system?
Do you see a more apparent solution than those you have researched? From what you have learned can you suggest a method for taxation that would meet your definition of tax fairness?

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