15 TAX FACTS IN 15 DAYS: SHAHEEN CONCLUDES ONLINE SERIES ABOUT IMPORTANCE OF TAX REFORM

April 16, 2012

(Washington, D.C.) –Just in time for Tax Day, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) concluded her “15 TAX FACTS IN 15 DAYS” online series with a post that continued her call for comprehensive tax reform. The series, which consisted of daily posts on Shaheen’s Facebook and Twitter pages, highlighted problems with the current tax system. This effort comes just as the Senate prepares to vote tonight on the Buffett rule, which establishes a new alternative minimum tax for millionaires.

“As Tax Day approaches, it is important we take a comprehensive look at our tax code—which is too long, too complicated and puts too high a burden on middle class families and American businesses,” Shaheen said.”

In her posts, Shaheen addressed a range of issues, from tax inequity and the Buffett rule to tax compliance burdens and egregious tax breaks. Senator Shaheen has consistently called for comprehensive tax reform as a necessary part of any bipartisan plan to tackle our deficits and debt.

Each Twitter post included the hashtag: #15TaxFacts.

All 15 tax facts are posted here. Some of the most popular facts she shared:

  • Why does Warren Buffett, a man worth $44 billion, pay a lower tax rate than the average American? The average effective rate is 13.5 %. He pays 11 %. That means he’s paying a lower rate than his own secretary.
  • Our tax burden is not being fairly shared. The wealthiest 1 percent of households has 43 percent of the nation’s wealth, but pays only 22 percent of the taxes.
  • The federal tax code is so complex, it’s a burden on small businesses. Of all the paperwork small businesses do for the federal government, 80% relates to tax compliance. 
  • A tax deduction for yacht owners? If the yacht is big enough -- with beds, and a bathroom, and a kitchen -- then yacht owners can claim it as a second home and get the same mortgage interest deduction on their taxes that we give to middle class homeowners. There are as many as half a million yachts in the U.S. that qualify for this exemption.
  • Between 2008 and 2010, 78 of the nation’s major corporations paid less than zero in federal income taxes for at least one year. So thanks to tax loopholes, they actually make money from their income taxes—and middle class taxpayers pay for it.

You can see Senator Shaheen’s “15 tax facts in 15 days” effort here: 

http://www.shaheen.senate.gov/15taxfacts/

www.facebook.com/SenatorShaheen

www.twitter.com/SenatorShaheen

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