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An editorial in The News on Sept. 26, "IRS reform, not an overhaul of the tax system," is precisely the wrong approach. Congress pretends to be shocked by IRS abuses. Yet it is Congress that created the Internal Revenue Code, a minefield of opportunity for abuse.

The income tax, estate-and-gift tax and excise tax provisions of the Internal Revenue Code should be repealed. To say the provisions for the income tax are an obscenity is putting it kindly.

These taxes should be replaced by a value-added tax, which is self-checking. VAT extends from the raw material, to the manufacturer, to the dealer, to the retailer, to the consumer. Food and medicine can be exempt.

As a bonus, VAT -- under trade treaties -- places the United States on equal footing with its trade partners. Because VAT is a so-called indirect tax, it is refunded on exports and assessed on imports. Critics say VAT is complex. But what could be more complex than the current Internal Revenue Code, a masterpiece of complexity?

Bedros (pete) Odian Amherst

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