Fifty-four House Republicans on Thursday reintroduced legislation that would terminate the IRS and replace the system of income taxes on people and corporations with a consumption tax.
The FairTax Act, from Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), would abolish the 16th Amendment, which was ratified 100 years ago this February. That amendment gives Congress the power to impose income taxes without having to spend the revenues evenly among the states.
Woodall’s bill, H.R. 25, would replace the current tax system with a 23 percent consumption tax on all new goods and services. He said Thursday that this change would eliminate the need for a complicated tax code, and would be the kind of tax reform that helps reinvigorate the economy.
“The momentum is building for fundamental tax reform, and it’s fueled by the American people,” he said. “By passing the FairTax, Congress can shield middle-class Americans from the burden of the payroll tax, the largest tax burden that most American families bear.
“The FairTax would make it easier for businesses to grow and hire new workers by abolishing America’s corporate income tax, currently the highest in the world.”
Woodall argues that eliminating the corporate income tax would give companies an incentive to repatriate billions of dollars from overseas that would be subject to taxes under current law.
Specifically, the bill would repeal the payroll tax, individual and corporate income taxes, the self-employment tax, and estate and gift taxes.
It would be replaced with a 23 percent consumption tax that people living at or below the poverty rate would not have to pay. The bill would require a “probate” to be paid to all residents that is equal to the consumption tax the poor would normally pay, thus sparing them from taxes completely.
Among the 53 Republican co-sponsors are House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.).
The 112th Congress ended with 70 co-sponsors for Woodall’s last version of his FairTax bill.