To the editor:
As a licensed enrolled agent and tax professional, I have some suggestions for reconciling the tax bill.
1. Lowering the penalty for the individual mandate benefits some taxpayers, but hurts the most vulnerable, the poor, seniors and disabled. The reduction of the penalty to zero should only be reserved for joint filers earning less than $100,000 per year and single filers earning less than $50,000. Other taxpayers would pay a reduced penalty based on income. This would allow individuals living in states such as Arizona who have few options for insurance to at least maintain the small marketplace they have while also easing the burden on lower income people who are being penalized simply for not being able to afford insurance.
2. Maintain the health care deduction. This is a valuable deduction for those with chronic and costly health conditions.
3. Do not treat graduate tuition waivers as income. It is not. Students never see this money. At a time when the American workforce lags behind other nations in terms of education, making it even more onerous to obtain said education makes us the biggest loser in the global marketplace.
4. Likewise, and for the same reason, maintain the student loan interest deduction. This reasonable compromise would truly help the middle class while still allowing corporate tax cuts.
As an expert in the field, these measures make good economic sense. Attain your goal of tax reform, but do so in a reasoned manner that will truly benefit Americans.