Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Best-selling author T.R. Reid compares the world's taxes with U.S. taxes

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 2, 2017 4:47 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, May 2, 2017:

Taxpayers may find this hard to believe but the tax burden on Americans is one of the lowest among the 35 richest countries in the world.  Then, compare the U.S. to France where the tax burden is about 50% of income and profits.  

At the same time, the U.S. has the most complex tax code in the world with 73,000 pages of IRS regulations.  Last year, Americans spent over six billion hours filing their taxes.  In the Netherlands, the average filing time is 15 minutes. 

Some tax deductions that Americans use have been eliminated in other countries.  For example those that got rid of mortgage interest deductions have higher rates of home ownerships than the U.S. 

American companies exploit loopholes and almost never pay the 35% corporate tax rate.  Apple, for example, paid zero tax on an income of $74 billion by relocating to Ireland.

These are all findings of best-selling author and Washington Post correspondent T.R. Reid in his latest book, A Fine Mess: A Global Quest for a Simpler, Fairer, and More Efficient Tax System.

The book is very timely as the Trump Administration has just released a few details of a tax reform plan.

T.R. Reid joins us on Tuesday's Smart Talk.

EMAILS

- As a part time seasonal Tax preparer, many of us would be happy to give up our jobs if we could go to a vastly simplified code.  I personally would like to see us go to a flat income tax at the same rate for individuals and corporations (courts have said they are people).  NO exemptions, NO deductions and require a Super Super Majority to make any changes.    - Blaine

- So, how does the American Public go about driving the Lobbyists out of the politics of Taxation and take productive steps toward changing the current tax code?             - Donna

- Awful. This guy belongs on the Bob Durgin Show, not on Smart Talk. He does not understand incentive.  His argument that the charitable deduction makes no difference in giving?  He then admitted that NO OTHER country has the percentage of charitable giving that we do.  The lobbies sometimes benefit from deductions, but 95% of the deductions benefit the PEOPLE, not the corporate lobbyists.   - Jo

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