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Tax Laws Are Unfair

September 08, 1985

Regarding "Politics Leading to Bad Policy on Tax Reform" (Aug. 25), John F. Lawrence is absolutely correct. The wrong reasons are driving Congress and the Administration to the usual "tax reform"--a redistribution scheme with greater complexities.

As a certified public accountant, I feel that present tax laws are unfair because they are not being administered by the agency chosen for that task, the Internal Revenue Service. CPAs, tax preparers and lawyers are deciding which tax laws taxpayers will follow.

What gives many taxpayers a tremendous sense of unfairness is talk from their neighbor, who has never paid a dime's worth of tax because he happens to be in a cash business. By the way, the neighbor lives in a bigger house, has a nicer car and flashes more gold than Fort Knox.

If the government really wants tax reform, I suggest the following:

1--Define what it is.

2--Take it out of the hands of economists and the Treasury Department.

3--Hire those who really know: IRS agents, CPAs, lawyers and even those at H&R Block who deal with the public on a daily basis.

4--Go through the tax code page by page and see what is really necessary. Get rid of those provisions that are obsolete, complex and useless.

5-Hold congressional seminars on what has been done. It's amazing how they vote for or against reform with little or no knowledge of what it's all about.

Obviously, proper reforms would take years to accomplish. And while we're waiting for the changes, the economy would undergo severe uncertainty. In light of that, maybe we should recognize that present tax reform proposals are a sham and leave well enough alone, unless we really want to do the job properly.

HARVEY A. GOLDSTEIN

Los Angeles

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