Tax policy is defined as which taxes the government chooses to levy, in what amounts and on whom. Elements of this decision are based on both the amount needed to pay for expenditures as well as the effect taxes can have on the economy and economic stimulation. Equality, one of the canons of taxation, plays a key role – who should pay and how much? Tax administration is the implementation of tax policy, including compliance.
The increasing complexity of tax policy in part is due to technological advances, cross border trade, and the growth of multi-national corporations. The last major overhaul of the U.S Federal Tax Code was over 30 years ago, the Tax Reform Act of 1984. It has been called the broadest revision of federal income tax in history and stands as a rare example of bi-partisan support for tax legislation.
That, however was prior to the technological advances, cross border trade and surge in multi-national corporations. Bi-partisan consensus is that these societal changes have made the current U.S tax system uncompetitive, overly complex and inefficient, straying from the canons of equality, convenience, certainty and economy. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 was begun in 1982. The legislative session of 2017 has been likened to those early days of 1982.
Now that we have just experienced the close of the 2017 legislative session and the presidential signing of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act we can reflect on the bill in its final form. The final bill reflects some compromises and is substantially different than the earlier House and Senate bills. The new law includes many expected changes, some unexpected ones, and some changes that were expected but didn’t make the cut. Much has been written about the impact the bill will have on the economy but right now most of us are just beginning to wade through the massive changes.
Your paper should reflect on how you feel these changes are going to impact society as a whole and, just as importantly, the impact on your little corner of Main Street. You need not share any personal information, however as taxpayers, it will be interesting to anticipate how these changes will impact 2018. How do you feel about the course these changes took? Were the canons met? Gathering information about the changes will better provide you with a feel for how the return you file in April 2019 will look. Feel free to look closely at the areas that impact you personally (family, education etc) or you may look more closely at the changes facing businesses, both large and small. Choose the area you find most interesting and DIG IN!
Your paper should present the results of your research into the Tax Cut and Jobs Act tax policy changes. You need not express personal opinions, however you may. Your paper should be long enough to present the information from your research. A long paper does not necessarily constitute a good grade but a thoughtful, well researched and presented paper does. You should have a bibliography of both works cited and works referenced, properly presented.
In the accounting profession, especially in tax, the ability to present a complex topic in well thought out form, easily understood, using proper grammar and punctuation, is a professional necessity. Your research paper should reflect these ideals.

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