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Taxpayers want tax reform but do not favor flat tax.

Tax reform ranked among the top three most important issues this election year, along with health care and a balanced budget, according to a nationwide survey of 505 U.S. taxpayers conducted by the American Institute of CPAs and Yankelovich Partners, Inc. Although most taxpayers also said they would favor replacing the current tax system with a new system, over half opposed replacing the current system with a fiat tax.

The telephone poll surveyed taxpayers age 21 or older who intended to file 1995 taxes. A portion of those t surveyed were given a copy of the executive summary from the AICPA's Flat Taxes and Consumption Taxes: A Guide to the Debate before they were interviewed. While more than 21% of all the taxpayers surveyed could not decide whether they favored a new tax system, only 3% of those who received the guide summary said they were undecided. In fact, over 45% of the taxpayers who received the AICPA publication said they favored the status quo, more than 18 percentage points more than those who did not read the guide.

Taxpayers want to keep their deductions

Most of the taxpayers surveyed said that a simpler tax system would not necessarily be a fairer tax system. The poll also showed that most taxpayers did not favor a system that would tax everyone at the same rate. Roughly 75% of the respondents said they did not want to give up their deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable contributions and state and local taxes. Approximately 90% of all taxpayers polled said the elderly should be protected under any new system.

For more information about the taxpayer poll, dial (20l) 938-3787 from a fax machine, follow the voice cues and select document no. 175.
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jul 1, 1996
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