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Washington, D.C. – Many Americans spent the weekend huddled over forms, receipts and a calculator preparing taxes. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is spending time this week with colleagues working on legislation that would help Americans spend fewer days working to pay Uncle Sam.

"We tax what moves. We tax what doesn’t move. We tax it when you buy it. We tax it when you sell it. We tax you for living, we even tax you for dying. It is time to stop this way of governing and reform and simplify the system to decrease the burden on Americans," said Enzi, an accountant and former small business owner.

Enzi co-sponsored a Republican tax package, the Invest in America Act, introduced today that would provide tax relief for teachers, families who adopt, Americans with aging parents, married couples, parents, students and small businesses. The proposal would permanently repeal the death tax and make the increased child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief, the adoption tax credit, the tuition deduction and the teacher deduction permanent. The bill would also make the increased expensing limits for small businesses permanent as well as the new income tax rates and capital gains and dividends rates permanent.

"The IRS reports that Americans spend 30 hours filing a 1040 form and more than six in 10 Americans have to hire someone to help prepare their returns. Small businesses spent the most time filing returns," said Enzi. "The federal government takes enough of our money and our time. I will work with Congress on more legislation this year that would give some of both back to Americans."

The Invest in America Act  

 

Individual Income Tax Rates:  Every American taxpayer benefits from the current income tax structure.  The lower rates have also been integral to our economic growth, which has averaged 3% per year.  Lower marginal rates encourage Americans to work harder and be more productive, which leads to a growing economy, low unemployment, and improving living standards for all. 

 ·         The Invest in America Act proposes to make the income tax rates permanent.

 Child Credit, Marriage Penalty Relief, Other Family Provisions:  The $1,000-per-child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, and other provisions enacted in recent years have been a tremendous help to millions and millions of middle and lower income families.

 ·         The Invest in America Act proposes to make the increased child tax credit, the marriage penalty relief, the adoption tax credit, the tuition deduction, the teacher deduction, and many other provisions permanent.

 Death Tax Repeal:  If Congress fails to act, more than 130,000 families each year starting in 2011 will have to confront the estate tax.  Family businesses, farms, and ranches are hit the hardest, as they lack the resources to plan around the tax or to pay it.

 ·         The Invest in America Act proposes to make repeal of the death tax permanent.

 AMT Repeal:  The individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) was a misguided attempt to tax just “the rich,” but which has ended up hitting more and more middle-income families.

·         The Invest in America Act proposes to permanently repeal the AMT.

Capital Gains, Dividends:  The economy has grown strongly since the lower investment rates were enacted in 2003, as it became easier for businesses to attract capital to grow and as it became more appealing for investors to put their hard-earned savings at risk in the markets.  With over half of all Americans owning stock, large numbers of middle-income families and seniors are benefiting from the lower rates, including the 5% rate, which drops to 0% in 2008.

 ·         The Invest in America Act proposes to make the capital gains and dividends rates permanent.

 Small Business Expensing:  The increased expensing limits have helped countless small businesses, which create most of the new jobs in the U.S. , expand their operations.

·         The Invest in America Act proposes to make the increased expensing permanent.

R&D Tax Credit:  Countries compete aggressively for high-value R&D projects.  One important tool the U.S. uses to attract these investments is the restructured R&D tax credit.

 ·         The Invest in America Act proposes to make the R&D tax credit permanent.

Tax Simplification:  The U.S. tax system imposes a costly and annoying burden on taxpayers, with filers spending an average 30 hours to complete the typical Form 1040.  Six in 10 Americans opt instead to hire a professional.  The billions of dollars spent each year simply complying with the tax system could be put to a much better use.