Nine Reasons to Adopt a Carbon Tax

With a solidifying U.S. and world consensus for action on climate change, with the Bush Administration gone from office, with an Obama Administration committed to climate change regulation, and with a Democratic majority in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, federal legislation or regulation to reduce greenhouse gases in the near term is highly likely. The only question is what form it will take. This...

Behavioral Economics and Fundamental Tax Reform

I. Introduction I come not to praise behavioral economics and its relation to fundamental tax reform, but to bury it. To be more precise, I mean to bury the most commonly and particularly suggested application of behavioral economics to fundamental tax reform: using the insights of behavioralism to support proposals to promote individual savings through ad hoc, tax-favored vehicles. This may come as a bit of surprise...

Attractive Complexity: Tax Deregulation, the Check-the-Box Election, and the Future of Tax Simplification

I. INTRODUCTION Dissatisfaction with the complexity of the income tax is nothing new.[1]Still, recent decades have seen anything but a decrease in the tax law’s complexity. The seemingly inexorable rise in complexity has attracted the attention of scholars,[2] inspired politicians[3] and, of course, frustrated taxpayers. Typically it is assumed that what puts simplicity, or at least simplification,[4]out of reach...

Are Tax Havens Good Neighbors? An LDC Perspective

Written by: Luisa Blanco[*] and Cynthia L. Rogers Abstract Tax competition and spillover models offer ambiguous predictions of tax haven impacts on non- tax havens. The implications of tax havens for less developed countries (LDCs), in particular, are not well understood and are little studied. This paper investigates the impact of tax havens on foreign direct investment (FDI) in non-tax haven LDCs. We investigate...

Carousel Fraud in the EU: a Digital Vat Solution

The future of the VAT is digital.[1]In the foresee- able future, all VAT processes will be auto- mated. VAT determinations, collection, the remission of funds, as well as all reporting, audit, and refund activities will be digitized.[2]Certified proprietary and third-party software systems will perform all critical VAT functions for large and small taxpayers at minimal cost under real-time compliance conditions. Government-to-government...

Interpreting Statutory Silence

Like fences, the statutes in subtitle F of the code define the operational area in which the IRS administers the tax laws. Statutory words — like pickets — place important boundaries on IRS action. Statutory silence — the spaces surrounding the words — can be just as important in understanding the boundaries. As with any other aspect of language, meaning comes from both what is said and what is not said. This...

Fair Taxation as a Basic Human Right

ABSTRACT This symposium issue explores the limits and possibilities of law and legal institutions in redressing poverty and economic inequality. The following essay approaches the question by considering the ways in which domestic tax policy interacts with internationally-recognized human rights. I suggest that focusing on human rights discourse provides a needed vocabulary for addressing the global impact of domestic...

Who Pays Taxes and Who Receives Government Spending? An Analysis of Federal, State and Local Tax and Spending Distributions, 1991-2004

Written by: Gerald Prante and Andrew Chamberlain ABSTRACT While the U.S. tax system is progressive, the distribution of government spending makes the overall fiscal system more progressive than is apparent from tax distributions alone. Using a microdata model we estimate the distribution of federal, state and local taxes and spending between 1991 and 2004. We find households in the lowest quintile of income received...

Fiscal Policy and Capital Formation in Transition Economies

SUMMARY In the 199Os the transition economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have suffered significant recession and persistent imbalances. Over ten years of vast changes GDP has contracted significantly and income inequality increased, too. In several countries post-socialist depression still continues. Whereas in the best example, that is Poland, GDP in 1999 is at about 12O percent of pre-transition...

Revenue and Distributional Effects of the Individual Income and Estate Tax Provisions of Senator Thompson’s Plan for Tax Relief and Economic Growth

Written by: Leonard E. Burman, Greg Leiserson, and Jeffrey Rohaly[1] Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson announced a tax reform plan that permanently extends the 2001–2006 individual income tax cuts; permanently repeals the federal estate tax; repeals the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) at an unspecified future date while indexing the AMT exemption for inflation until that time; lowers the corporate...

Government as Contractual Claimant: Tax Policy and the State

Introduction This is a paper about the relationship between taxation and liberty. Applying insights from constitutional economics[1] and corporate finance, in this Article I first make a descriptive observation about the role of government in its capacity as tax collector, and then move to a normative claim about how this description of government’s relationship with taxpayers should inform constitutional economics...

How Much Did the 2009 Fiscal Stimulus Boost Spending?

Abstract Using survey evidence, I estimate the impact of a $12 billion package of household payments delivered in Australia between March and May 2009. Forty percent of households who said that they received the payment reported having spent it. This is approximately twice the spending rate that has been recorded in surveys assessing the 2001 and 2008 tax rebates in the United States. One possible explanation for this...
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