A Voluntary Tax? Revisited


Abstract This Article explains, updates and generalizes Cooper (1979), which had labeled the estate tax a voluntary tax. The tax has remained voluntary in the sense of being easily avoidable, even by those engaging in activities within the tax’s ostensible normative target (i.e., significant intergenerational wealth transfers). Further, all taxes on the yield to capital are voluntary in this sense. The federal tax system, writ large, is increasingly a wage-based…
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