In the U.S., the consumption taxes we are most familiar with are the sales tax and some excise taxes, such as on gasoline, alcohol and tobacco. We typically think of these taxes as having to be imposed at the point of purchase. There is an advantage to this because you’ll know at that time if you can afford to pay the tax. Disadvantages to this approach include that the vendor has additional compliance to collect and remit the tax (and penalties if done wrong) and the rate can’t be adjusted for the income level of the buyer (although I understand many might not view this as a disadvantage).

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On 1/28/16, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on – Helping Americans Prepare for Retirement: Increasing Access, Participation and Coverage in Retirement Savings Plans.  This isn’t the first time for this topic.  There were a few hearings on this in 2014. I’m not sure if anything is driving the renewed attention to this topic now.  While tax reform is challenging in an election year, this important topic seems good for any year.  There is a need for reform of the tax rules for retirement plans to make them more equitable and simple to help more people save for retirement. Read More