A few junior Republican representatives in the House are proffering a flatter, simpler tax plan that would give citizens a choice as to whether or not to continue filing under the existing system or to use the new system.

Those taxpayers presumably would accept this offer: give up all your current deductions, and your annual earnings up to $100,000 would be taxed at 10 percent, with a 25 percent rate on everything above that. But that is not all. The bill would repeal the hated Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), giving up $840 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. Government would have to get leaner.

There's also a standard exemption of around $39,000 for a family of four, so a family might really only be taxed 10% on income between that and $100,000. No other deductions though, apparently.

Allowing taxpayers to make individual choices as to whether to join the new plan or stay with the old is a nice feature, and should reduce the carping from people who don't want to lose their mortgage interest deductions and so forth.

No information in the article about how capital gains would be treated in the new system.

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