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Unrig & Invest: Fighting For A FAIRER Tax Code

Public Citizen is working to unrig the tax code to make it fairer for everyday Americans. We also believe we must increase government revenues in order to reinvest in communities.

Public Citizen believes we need a tax code that prioritizes having the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share and that provides adequate revenues to support our government. In addition to repealing the disastrous 2017 tax giveaway bill, it’s far past time to close loopholes and make corporations and Wall Street pay their fair share. And, the Internal Revenue Service must work for We the People and be better empowered to enforce the law against tax cheats.

1. Rolling-Back the Tax Giveaways

As a first step, we must repeal the 2017 tax cut legislation that showered corporations and the very wealthy with lavish handouts like slashing the corporate tax rate to 21%, providing further incentives for offshoring through the GILTI international tax scheme, increasing the estate tax threshold, and cutting the top tax rate for individuals. Addressing inequality in our tax code means both repeal of the permanent provisions benefitting corporations as well as blocking extension of the elements of the 2017 tax giveaway that are set to expire which overwhelming skew toward enriching millionaires.  A fairer tax code is rolling-back these harmful tax changes and ensuring that Congress crafts a more progressive tax code that works for everyone, not just the rich and corporations. 

2. Ensuring Corporations & Wall Street Pay Their Fair Share

In addition to rolling back the 2017 tax giveaways, corporations and the wealthy should pull more of their weight when it comes to taxes, such as by increasing the tax rate for corporations beyond 35% and closing loopholes that benefit investors and high-paid CEOs over average Americans. We should also strengthen the estate tax. Additionally, we must stop companies from “inverting” and re-incorporating in low tax countries and ensure that multinational corporations don’t game the tax system, such as by requiring disclosure of country-by-country tax information.

3. New Revenues = New Investments

Our country has an unending list of needed investments around health, childcare, assistance for seniors, addressing climate change, etc. By asking Wall Street and very wealthy to pay more of their fair share, we will have more money to give a hand up to those who need it most. We can do this adding a surtax on the incomes of the richest among us, or even by taxing amassed wealth. And, revenues from other new taxes like a Wall Street sales tax (financial transaction tax) also could be reinvested in our communities.

4. An IRS for the People

The investments in the IRS made through the Inflation Reduction Act were a great start, we need to protect that money in the face of attacks. And the new Direct File pilot must be expanded and made available to everyone as soon as possible. Additionally, the IRS must continue to work to ensure that audits and other enforcement is concentrated more on big-money taxpayers and corporations in order to maximize the agency’s bang for the buck. Moreover, nonprofit organizations need bright line rules on political activity and adequate enforcement of the tax laws on the books so that it can better protect and encourage democracy.