Unhappy Returns: National Taxpayer Groups Call on Congress to Make Next Year's Tax Day Just Another Spring Day

(Washington, DC) -- As many of America's beleaguered taxpayers waited in long Post Office lines to meet their income tax deadlines, three citizen groups with a combined membership of more than 1 million businesses and individuals today united to criticize "a dysfunctional tax system" and note the sacrifices of those who pay government's bills.

"It's time to end the assault on taxpayers and adopt a better system of funding the government," said Leo Linbeck, Jr. of Americans for Fair Taxation (AFFT). "We call upon Congress to get moving on fundamental tax reform by enacting the FairTax national sales tax. It's high time we make April's tax filing deadline just another spring day."

Legislation in Congress (H.R. 25 sponsored by Representative John Linder) would replace the current income and payroll tax system with a non-regressive national sales tax. Under H.R. 25 the IRS is eliminated and retailers, most of whom already pay state sales taxes, are provided a credit for the cost of administering the new national sales tax.

"This is a frustrating time of year for our small business members," said Todd McCracken, President of the National Small Business Association. "Switching to the FairTax would greatly reduce compliance costs and regulatory burdens for small business owners."

"The income tax is an economic travesty against hard-working Americans," said John Berthoud, President of the National Taxpayers Union. "Along with their taxes, individuals and businesses endure compliance burdens amounting to $265 billion, or an additional 22 cents on every dollar collected." And, with 41% of the US population expected to be outside the income tax system in 2006, citizens seeking their piece of the American Dream are especially vulnerable to the nightmare of the IRS and the Tax Code."

"Tax reform would be a boon to our nation in so many ways," Berthoud continued. "For example, as Congress continues to debate the illegal immigration issue, one overlooked advantage of the FairTax is that every person in the U.S., including those here illegally, would help to pay for government whenever they purchase goods and services."

"The American people deserve a 'rebate' for the wasteful costs imposed on them by our broken tax system," said Berthoud. "The dollar amount exceeds the combined revenue of Sears, Walt Disney, Microsoft, Rite Aid, and McDonald's, while the yearly paperwork volume is staggering: over 1.3 billion information items and 8 billion pages of forms and instructions. The hours expended annually in this ritual is equivalent to the labor of over 2.5 million people. Don't we all have more productive things to do with our time?"

"Let's make tax filing day a holiday for the American taxpayer," AFFT's Linbeck urged taxpayers across America. "Call it Labor Day for Taxpayers, or call it a national day of remembrance. But join with us in calling for it to become a thing of the past."

Note: Each of the groups listed above have undertaken various projects on behalf of tax reform, including studies, national lobbying, grassroots outreach, and public education. For more information on the organizations listed in this release, visit: www.ntu.org, www.fairtax.org, and www.nsba.biz .