Scholars suggest that failure to include implicit taxes in analyses of vertical equity understates the progressivity of the tax system. This paper develops an analytic expression for imputing the implicit tax associated with tax-exempt bonds using the tax-exempt interest income reported on individual income tax returns. To measure progressivity, Kakwani indices are calculated using three definitions of income and three measures of tax liability. In addition, the indices are computed by adding implicit income to the income measure. Examination of the Kakwani indices leads to the conclusion that the tax system is progressive for all measures of tax liability. Total tax (explicit plus implicit), measured against explicit plus implicit income, is more progressive than explicit tax measured against explicit income. Including the implicit tax associated with tax-exempt interest in the measurement of tax progressivity increases the level of progressivity of the tax system slightly.
The purpose of this paper is to show an optimum income tax policy, given that the government must raise sufficient tax revenue to fund public goods and services as well as…
The purpose of this paper is to show an optimum income tax policy, given that the government must raise sufficient tax revenue to fund public goods and services as well as income transfer programmes. The paper examines the different types of taxes and then suggests a policy that is efficient, equitable, easy to administer and leads to a higher level of economic growth.
A literature review has been done to find all scholarly work that relates to income tax policy and its effect on economic growth. Results from endogenous growth models have been utilised to determine both the significance and the magnitude of income tax policy's effect on the growth rate of real GDP.
After examining the benefits of each type of taxation and reviewing the principles of capitalism, a proportionate (single rate) tax of 12 per cent on all income would be approximately revenue neutral in the USA, and would add to the growth of real GDP, thereby improving the standard of living.
The paper concentrates on income tax policy in the USA. While it is believed that the conclusions apply to virtually all market-based economies, cultural differences in some countries may result in a modification of the conclusion to fit the society.
In the USA today, the majority of people favour changing the current income tax code. The debate is about what to change and how to change it. This debate is also important to developing nations who try to set an income tax policy that reaches the goals while encouraging growth.
While the literature shows varying studies concerning the impact of tax policy, there is a gap when searching for an optimum policy. Many scholars have made suggestions but none of them seem to be optimal. This topic is of particular interest in the USA and the rest of the developed and non-developed world, since the recent performance of GDP growth has been very slow and in many instances negative. Most countries have tried combinations of monetary and fiscal policies to encourage growth, but none seem to be working effectively. The solution may be to change income tax policy. The proposal for an optimum income tax policy is new and different from any that has been suggested as yet.
This article examines income tax progression as a mechanism for achieving the intertemporal adjustments of earnings profiles. With a rising income profile, the preference for progression arises from the market (borrowing) rate of interest exceeding the rate at which the government borrows. For a given tax burden, each individual is found to prefer a marginal tax rate of unity, with the threshold set as high as possible. With a common tax structure, the conditions under which all individuals prefer progression is examined.
Using decomposable measures of inequality, the implications of household structure are investigated by examining inequality between and within household groups based on…
Using decomposable measures of inequality, the implications of household structure are investigated by examining inequality between and within household groups based on the number of exemptions, which correlates with household size, and the filing status, which correlates with the common forms of household structure, i.e. married, single, head of household. Detailed household income data are used to measure income inequality for both pre-tax/transfer and post-tax/transfer definitions of income. These decompositions provide information about the degree of inequality, both before and after taxes and transfers, which is due to household size and filing status. The bootstrap is employed to construct standard errors for the inequality measures and their decompositions, and hypothesis tests are conducted to determine whether the observed changes in the distribution of income are statistically significant.
The results of this study indicate that a likely reason why a negative relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns is empirically observed is the…
The results of this study indicate that a likely reason why a negative relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns is empirically observed is the researcher’s election to choose a zero tax rate as the benchmark state and local tax rate. Normally, an observed negative relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns supports the hypothesis generated by implicit tax theory. This conclusion regarding the implicit tax hypothesis may be premature whenever the incidence of state and local income taxes contributes to this empirical finding. First, state income taxes, treated as a negative subsidy when the benchmark state and local tax rate is set at zero, will likely cause implicit taxes to be underestimated. Second, the observed relationship between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns appears to be reversible depending upon the researcher’s election of a statutory tax rate that incorporates the selected benchmark state and local tax rate.
The present study uses a sample of 848 firms covering the years from 1989 through 1998 to show how the relation between estimated implicit taxes and pretax returns can be manipulated by the selection of the benchmark state and local tax rate. Since choosing an accurate benchmark state and local tax rate can be problematic, the present study suggests adjusting both estimated implicit taxes and pretax income by the amount of state and local income taxes incurred. The results, using the regression model making this adjustment, appear to nullify the negative bias of a zero tax rate as the benchmark state and local tax rate.
The paper proposes an alternative way of defining tax progressivity, one in which it becomes a function of marginal, not average tax rates. Changes in Tax Progressivity are then related to modifications in the distribution of pre-tax incomes or to variations in marginal rates. Using Israel’s Wage and Insurance Data File for the year 1993, the empirical analysis checks the impact of the 1995 Law for the Reduction of Poverty and Income Disparities on the progressivity of the National Insurance Tax System. Simulations are also conducted to study the effect of alternative policies.
The purpose of this paper is to estimate tax evasion and its impact on progressivity, redistribution and the measurement of inequality, using microdata from the Spanish…
The purpose of this paper is to estimate tax evasion and its impact on progressivity, redistribution and the measurement of inequality, using microdata from the Spanish income tax for 2001-2004.
The approach follows Feldman and Slemrod (2007) by exploiting the relation of charitable donations with the composition of income but introduces two methodological innovations, which could be useful for further studies: correction for sample selection with a Heckman two-step setting and the calculation of different evasion rates for top incomes with an interaction term.
Evasion in capital incomes was significant throughout these years. Financial incomes were reported at around 50-70 per cent of their real value, with the lowest estimates corresponding to the top decile. Revenues from fixed capital display similarly low compliance rates for the top 10 per cent. Tax evasion in self-employment incomes (direct assessment) is estimated at 20 per cent for 2001. Mostly because of a composition effect, this means that fraud was higher at the top of the income distribution, thus having a regressive impact. Inequality statistics and top income concentration estimates should, therefore, be revised upwards.
This is the first paper to estimate the distributive impacts of tax evasion in Spain, and one of very few internationally.
The last 20 years have seen a significant evolution in the literature on horizontal inequity (HI) and have generated two major and “rival” methodological strands, namely…
The last 20 years have seen a significant evolution in the literature on horizontal inequity (HI) and have generated two major and “rival” methodological strands, namely, classical HI and reranking. We propose in this paper a class of ethically flexible tools that integrate these two strands. This is achieved using a measure of inequality that merges the well-known Gini coefficient and Atkinson indices, and that allows a decomposition of the total redistributive effect of taxes and transfers into a vertical equity effect and a loss of redistribution due to either classical HI or reranking. An inequality-change approach and a money-metric cost-of-inequality approach are developed. The latter approach makes aggregate classical HI decomposable across groups. As in recent work, equals are identified through a non-parametric estimation of the joint density of gross and net incomes. An illustration using Canadian data from 1981 to 1994 shows a substantial, and increasing, robust erosion of redistribution attributable both to classical HI and to reranking, but does not reveal which of reranking or classical HI is more important since this requires a judgement that is fundamentally normative in nature.
Governments often encourage charitable giving through the tax system, by a deduction or tax credit. In 1988, Canada moved from a deduction system to a tax credit system…
Governments often encourage charitable giving through the tax system, by a deduction or tax credit. In 1988, Canada moved from a deduction system to a tax credit system. The tax credit for donations above $250 was calculated at the highest tax rate, even if the taxpayer was at the lowest tax rate. This gives what can be called a “superdeduction.” At the same time, the top rate of tax was reduced. Thus, the cost of giving was reduced for the lower taxpayers and increased for the higher-income taxpayers.
The article reports whether taxpayer behavior changed from 1986 (pre reform) to 1988 and 1992 (post reform). The analysis also investigates the influence of inflation on the charitable donations. The percentage of taxpayers giving over $250 was analysed for both all the taxpayers and those consistently in the low and high tax brackets. The lower-income taxpayers were found to reduce their giving, contrary to expectations. The middle-income taxpayers, in general, increased their giving, which was expected and so took advantage of the superdeduction. The results of the moderate high-income taxpayers were mixed. Taxpayers who had very high incomes decreased their giving, as was expected.
We investigate the relationship between the notion of progressive taxation and inequality reduction under a general version of the concept of inequality equivalence. We…
We investigate the relationship between the notion of progressive taxation and inequality reduction under a general version of the concept of inequality equivalence. We consider a two-parameter formalization of the concept of inequality equivalence that both includes, as special cases, the intermediate inequality equivalence and the path-independent/unit-consistent inequality equivalence. Both criteria could range from relative to absolute inequality views as the parameters in the formulation change. For the path-independent/unit-consistent inequality equivalence the condition of nondecreasing average tax rate is necessary and sufficient to guarantee the inequality-reducing effect of taxation for all the inequality views in between the relative and the absolute.