DEAR HARRY: It seems that every day I get an email or brochure that advocates a flat income tax. I know that it means a single rate for everyone, but is it good or bad for T.C. Mits (The Common Man/woman in the Street)? Could you give me some of the pros and cons?
WHAT HARRY SAYS: Most ofcoursely. Incidentally, I like T.C. Mits. Remember that a pro for some will be a con for others. Here we go: It is simpler to calculate. This argument is not really important, because the bracket system requires only one extra step: adding the top tax figure for the next lower bracket to the one multiplication you'd have to make anyway. The base for the tax will have fewer deductions to reduce the income. The very rich will pay the same rate on his or her top income dollar as T.C. Mits. There will be fewer disputes with IRS because of the limited deductions. This also will reduce the need for as many IRS employees and save Uncle Sam big bucks. It also will reduce the time necessary to prepare tax returns. And, with limited deductions, there will be a lot less record-keeping for you. Many states, Pennsylvania among them, have had flat rates for many years with great success. Of course, these rates are considerably lower than the 17 percent we hear most for the flat tax. The big bugaboo is the inherent unfairness of the rich paying at the same rate as the poor.