The Internal Revenue Service’s National Taxpayer Advocate is urging Congress to make tax reform its highest priority and to simplify the federal tax code by reassessing the need for every tax expenditure, including the exclusion of tax-exempt municipal bond interest from income.

Nina E. Olson made the plea in an annual report to Congress released Wednesday that says lawmakers should “employ a zero-based budgeting approach” to comprehensive tax reform that “starts out with the assumption that all tax benefits will be eliminated and adds tax benefits back only if members conclude that the public policy benefits ... outweigh the complexity burden.”

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