HR 4199 RFS
H. R. 4199
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 2, 2000
May 2, 2000
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To terminate the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ‘Date Certain Tax Code Replacement Act’.
SEC. 2. PURPOSE.
The purpose of this Act is to set a date certain for replacing the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 with a simple and fair alternative.
SEC. 3. TERMINATION OF INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986.
(a) IN GENERAL- No tax shall be imposed by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986--
(1) for any taxable year beginning after December 31, 2004; and
(2) in the case of any tax not imposed on the basis of a taxable year, on any taxable event or for any period after December 31, 2004.
(b) EXCEPTION- Subsection (a) shall not apply to taxes imposed by--
(1) chapter 2 of such Code (relating to tax on self-employment income);
(2) chapter 21 of such Code (relating to Federal Insurance Contributions Act); and
(3) chapter 22 of such Code (relating to Railroad Retirement Tax Act).
SEC. 4. NATIONAL COMMISSION ON TAX REFORM AND SIMPLIFICATION.
(a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:
(1) The Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is overly complex, imposes significant burdens on individuals and businesses and the economy, is extremely difficult for the Internal Revenue Service to administer, and is in need of fundamental reform and simplification.
(2) Many of the problems encountered by taxpayers in dealing with the Internal Revenue Service could be eliminated or alleviated by fundamental reform and simplification.
(3) The Federal Government’s present fiscal outlook for continuing and sustained budget surpluses provides a unique opportunity for the Congress to consider measures for fundamental reform and simplification of the tax laws.
(4) Recent efforts to simplify or reform the tax laws have not been successful due in part to the difficulty of developing broad-based, nonpartisan support for proposals to make such changes.
(5) Many of the problems with the Internal Revenue Service stem from the overly complex tax code the agency is asked to administer.
(1) IN GENERAL- To carry out the purposes of this section, there is established within the legislative branch a National Commission on Tax Reform and Simplification (in this section referred to as the ‘Commission’).
(2) COMPOSITION- The Commission shall be composed of 15 members, as follows:
(A) Three members appointed by the President, two from the executive branch of the Government and one from private life.
(B) Four members appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, one from Members of the Senate and three from private life.
(C) Two members appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, one from Members of the Senate and one from private life.
(D) Four members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one from Members of the House and three from private life.
(E) Two members appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, one from Members of the House and one from private life.
(3) CHAIR- The Commission shall elect a Chair (or two Co-Chairs) from among its members.
(4) MEETINGS, QUORUMS, VACANCIES- After its initial meeting, the Commission shall meet upon
the call of the Chair (Co-Chairs, if elected) or a majority of its members. Nine members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum. Any vacancy in the Commission shall not affect its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made. Any meeting of the Commission or any subcommittee thereof may be held in executive session to the extent that the Chair (Co-Chairs, if elected) or a majority of the members of the Commission or subcommittee determine appropriate.
(5) CONTINUATION OF MEMBERSHIP- If--
(A) any individual who appointed a member to the Commission by virtue of holding a position described in paragraph (2) ceases to hold such position before the report of the Commission is submitted under subsection (g); or
(B) a member was appointed to the Commission as a Member of Congress and the member ceases to be a Member of Congress, or was appointed to the Commission because the member was not an officer or employee of any government and later becomes an officer or employee of a government,
that member may continue as a member for not longer than the 30-day period beginning on the date that such individual ceases to hold such position or such member ceases to be a Member of Congress or becomes such an officer or employee, as the case may be.
(6) APPOINTMENT; INITIAL MEETING-
(A) APPOINTMENT- It is the sense of the Congress that members of the Commission should be appointed not more than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(B) INITIAL MEETING- If, after 60 days from the date of the enactment of this Act, eight or more members of the Commission have been appointed, members who have been appointed may meet and select the Chair (or Co-Chairs) who thereafter shall have the authority to begin the operations of the Commission, including the hiring of staff.
(c) FUNCTIONS OF THE COMMISSION-
(1) IN GENERAL- The functions of the Commission shall be--
(A) to conduct, for a period of not to exceed 18 months from the date of its first meeting, the review described in paragraph (2); and
(B) to submit to the Congress a report of the results of such review, including recommendations for fundamental reform and simplification of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as described in subsection (g).
(2) REVIEW- The Commission shall review--
(A) the present structure and provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, especially with respect to--
(i) its impact on the economy (including the impact on savings, capital formation and capital investment);
(ii) its impact on families and the workforce (including issues relating to distribution of tax burden);
(iii) the compliance cost to taxpayers; and
(iv) the ability of the Internal Revenue Service to administer such provisions;
(B) whether tax systems imposed under the laws of other countries could provide more efficient and fair methods of funding the revenue requirements of the government;
(C) whether the income tax should be replaced with a tax imposed in a different manner or on a different base; and
(D) whether the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 can be simplified, absent wholesale restructuring or replacement thereof.
(d) POWERS OF THE COMMISSION-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Commission or, on the authorization of the Commission, any subcommittee or member thereof, may, for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section, hold such hearings and sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, receive such evidence, and administer such oaths, as the Commission or such designated subcommittee or designated member may deem advisable.
(2) CONTRACTING- The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section.
(3) ASSISTANCE FROM FEDERAL AGENCIES AND OFFICES-
(A) INFORMATION- The Commission is authorized to secure directly from any executive department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, independent establishment, or instrumentality of the Government, as well as from any committee or other office of the legislative branch, such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics as it requires for the purposes of its review and report. Each such department, bureau, agency, board, commission, office, establishment, instrumentality, or committee shall, to the extent not prohibited by law, furnish such information, suggestions, estimates, and statistics directly to the Commission, upon request made by the Chair (Co-Chairs, if elected).
(B) TREASURY DEPARTMENT- The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized on a nonreimbursable basis to provide the Commission with administrative services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services for the performance of the Commission’s functions.
(C) GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION- The Administrator of General Services shall provide to the Commission on a nonreimbursable basis such administrative support services as the Commission may request.
(D) JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION- The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation is authorized on a nonreimbursable basis to provide the Commission with such legal, economic, or policy analysis, including revenue estimates, as the Commission may request.
(E) OTHER ASSISTANCE- In addition to the assistance set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), and (D), departments and agencies of the United States are authorized to provide to the Commission such services, funds, facilities, staff, and other support services as they may deem advisable and as may be authorized by law.
(5) POSTAL SERVICES- The Commission may use the United States mails in the same manner and under the same conditions as departments and agencies of the United States.
(6) GIFTS- The Commission may accept, use, and dispose of gifts or donations of services or property in carrying out its duties under this section.
(e) STAFF OF THE COMMISSION-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Chair (Co-Chairs, if elected), in accordance with rules agreed upon by the Commission, may appoint and fix the compensation of a staff director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III or chapter 53 of such title relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no rate of pay fixed under this subsection may exceed the equivalent of that payable to a person occupying a position at level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of title 5, United States Code. Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Commission without reimbursement from the Commission, and such detailee shall retain the rights, status, and privileges of his or her regular employment without interruption.
(2) CONSULTANT SERVICES- The Commission is authorized to procure the services of experts and consultants in accordance with section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, but at rates not to exceed the daily rate paid a person occupying a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code.
(f) COMPENSATION AND TRAVEL EXPENSES-
(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), each member of the Commission may be compensated at not to exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay in effect for a position at level IV of the Executive Schedule under section 5315 of title 5, United States Code, for each day during which that member is engaged in the actual performance of the duties of the Commission.
(B) EXCEPTION- Members of the Commission who are officers or employees of the United States or Members of Congress shall receive no additional pay on account of their service on the Commission.
(2) TRAVEL EXPENSES- While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Commission, members of the Commission shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703(b) of title 5, United States Code.
(g) REPORT OF THE COMMISSION; TERMINATION-
(1) REPORT- Not later than 18 months after the date of the first meeting of the Commission, the Commission shall submit a report to the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Finance of the Senate. The report of the Commission shall describe the results of its review (as described in subsection (c)(2)), shall make such recommendations for fundamental reform and simplification of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as the Commission considers appropriate, and shall describe the expected impact of such recommendations on the economy and progressivity and general administrability of the tax laws.
(A) IN GENERAL- The Commission, and all the authorities of this section, shall terminate on the date which is 90 days after the date on which the report is required to be submitted under paragraph (1).
(B) CONCLUDING ACTIVITIES- The Commission may use the 90-day period referred to in subparagraph (A) for the purposes of concluding its activities, including providing testimony to committees of Congress concerning its report and disseminating that report.
(h) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the activities of the Commission. Until such time as funds are specifically appropriated for such activities, $2,000,000 shall be available from fiscal year 2001 funds appropriated to the Treasury Department, ‘Departmental Offices’ account, for the activities of the Commission, to remain available until expended.
SEC. 5. TIMING OF IMPLEMENTATION.
In order to ensure an easy transition and effective implementation, the Congress hereby declares that any new Federal tax system shall be approved by Congress in its final form no later than July 4, 2004. If a new Federal tax system is not so approved by July 4, 2004, then Congress shall be required to vote to reauthorize the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
Passed the House of Representatives April 13, 2000.
By Martha C. Morrison,