U.S. tax reform panel delays recommendations

WASHINGTON Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:04pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House has delayed a report to draw up options for simplifying the tax code and reforming the corporate tax system, citing a need for more time to review comments.

The tax panel of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) had been set to release an "almanac" of ideas for tax reform on December 4. But the board's chairman Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, said the panel needs more time to review the public comments.

"I want us to review as many suggestions as possible and to have sufficient time to fully consider the hundreds of suggestions that have come in already," Volcker said in a statement posted on the White House blog on Friday.

The panel has received more than 500 comments thus far. Groups such as the Business Roundtable have argued for a lower corporate tax rate and changing international tax rules so that worldwide income is not taxed.

Members of the task force include Laura Tyson, former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton; Martin Feldstein, former advisor to President Ronald Reagan; Roger Ferguson, former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board; and William Donaldson, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When first announced, White House budget director Peter Orszag said the board would look at streamlining U.S. tax credits and being more aggressive in bringing in some $300 billion that goes uncollected each year.

In recent months, however, White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee has said repeatedly that the panel will not make recommendations, but instead draw up an almanac of possibilities.

The panel's reform policies cannot raise taxes for families making less than $250,000, a promise President Barack Obama made during his campaign.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon, Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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