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With the January 4 publication of Flat Taxes and Consumption Taxes: A Guide to the Debate and its accompanying Executive Summary, the AICPA has entered the fundamental tax- reform fray. These publications were prepared under the auspices of the AICPA Consumption Taxation Task Force, chaired by Byrle M. Abbin of Arthur Andersen.

The author of both documents is Martin Sullivan, PhD, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, who has served on the staff of the Office of Tax Analysis of the U.S. Treasury Department and the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The Executive Summary is an eight-page overview of the retail sales tax, value-added tax, flat tax, and USA tax proposals, their policy implications, and the impact on various types of taxpayers and businesses. Neither the Executive Summary nor the study itself endorses any of the proposals. Instead, they analyze the proposals, discussing plusses and minuses of each. The study surveys information from 118 sources discussing fundamental tax reform. With nearly 100 tables, charts, and figures, the study's 225 pages constitute a significant contribution to the tax reform debate currently raging in Congress. Tax professionals may want to read these publications to learn what they need to know to enter the debate themselves and to help their clients understand how fundamental tax reform will impact them.

Copies may be obtained from the AICPA by calling (800) 862-4272. The titles and publication numbers for the documents are Flat Taxes and Consumption Taxes: A Guide to the Debate (AICPA Pub. no. 061045) and Executive Summary: Flat Taxes and Consumption Taxes: A Guide to the Debate (AICPA Pub. no. 024018). The charge is $25.50 for AICPA members and $29.95 for others.

The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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