The Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA; P.L. 99–514) was the most extensive review and overhaul of the Internal Revenue Code by the U.S. Congress since the inception of the income tax in 1913 (the Sixteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution). The purpose of the TRA was to simplify the tax code, broaden the tax base, and eliminate many tax shelters and preferences. The TRA was intended to be essentially revenue neutral, though it did shift some of the tax burden from individuals to businesses. Although often described as one of President Ronald Reagan’s (a Republican) greatest legislative legacies, the TRA was officially sponsored by two leading Democrats, Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Senator Bill Bradley of New Jersey, and was strongly supported by ...

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