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Do we now collect any revenue from taxing capital income?

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  • Gordon, Roger
  • Kalambokidis, Laura
  • Slemrod, Joel

Abstract

The U.S. income tax has long been recognized as a hybrid of an income and consumption tax, with elements that do not fit naturally into either pure system. The precise nature of this hybrid has important policy implications for, among other things, understanding the impact of moving closer to a pure consumption tax regime. In this paper, we examine the nature of the U.S. income tax by calculating the revenue and distributional implications of switching from the current system to one form of consumption tax, a modified cash flow tax. Although earlier work had suggested that in 1983 such a switch would have cost little or no revenue at all, we calculate that in 1995 this switch would have cost $108.1 billion in tax revenues, suggesting that the U.S. income tax does impose some positive tax on capital income. The net gains from such a switch have a U-shaped pattern, with those in the lowest and highest deciles of labor income receiving the largest proportional gains, although those in the highest decile would have by far the largest absolute gains.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 88 (2004)
Issue (Month): 5 (April)
Pages: 981-1009

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:88:y:2004:i:5:p:981-1009

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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References

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  1. Michael P. Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1998. "The Taxation of Discrete Investment Choices," Keele Department of Economics Discussion Papers (1995-2001) 98/08, Department of Economics, Keele University.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & James R. Hines, Jr., 1987. "Anticipated Tax Changes and the Timing of Investment," NBER Chapters, in: Taxes and Capital Formation, pages 85-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Roger Gordon & Laura Kalambokidis & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "A New Summary Measure of the Effective Tax Rate on Investment," NBER Working Papers 9535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Slemrod, Joel, 1997. "Deconstructing the Income Tax," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 151-55, May.
  5. William M. Gentry & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1996. "Distributional Implications of Introducing a Broad-Based Consumption Tax," NBER Working Papers 5832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alan J. Auerbach & Roger H. Gordon, 2002. "Taxation of Financial Services under a VAT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 411-416, May.
  7. Joel Slemrod, 1998. "A General Model of the Behavioral Response to Taxation," NBER Working Papers 6582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Gruber, Jon & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "The elasticity of taxable income: evidence and implications," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-32, April.
  9. Michael Devereux & Rachel Griffith, 1996. "Taxes and the location of production: evidence from a panel of US multinationals," IFS Working Papers W96/14, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Bond, Stephen R & Devereux, Michael P & Gammie, Malcolm J, 1996. "Tax Reform to Promote Investment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 109-17, Summer.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jie Zhang & James Davies & Jinli Zeng & Stuart McDonald, . "Optimal taxation in a growth model with public consumption and home production," MRG Discussion Paper Series 1707, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  2. Ganghof, Steffen, 2006. "The politics of tax structure," MPIfG Working Paper 06/1, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  3. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez, 2004. "Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut," NBER Working Papers 10841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan Auerbach & Michael P Devereux & Helen Simpson, 2007. "Taxing corporate income," Working Papers 0705, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  5. Peter A. Schmid, 2013. "The destabilizing effect of company income taxation," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 35(3), pages 365-388, September.
  6. Cronin, Julie Anne & Lin, Emily Y. & Power, Laura & Cooper, Michael, 2013. "Distributing The Corporate Income Tax: Revised U.S. Treasury Methodology," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 66(1), pages 239-62, March.
  7. Auerbach, Alan J., 2006. "The Future of Capital Income Taxation," Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics, Working Paper Series qt90v90406, Berkeley Olin Program in Law & Economics.
  8. Roger Gordon & Laura Kalambokidis & Joel Slemrod, 2003. "A New Summary Measure of the Effective Tax Rate on Investment," NBER Working Papers 9535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. George R. Zodrow, 2007. "Should Capital Income be Subject to Consumption-Based Taxation?," Working Papers 0715, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  10. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
  11. Michael Devereux, 2003. "Measuring taxes on income from capital," IFS Working Papers W03/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Bird, Richard M. & Zolt, Eric M., 2011. "Dual Income Taxation: A Promising Path to Tax Reform for Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1691-1703.
  13. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2006. "Can Capital Income Taxes Survive? And Should They?," EPRU Working Paper Series 06-06, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Bei Li & Jie Zhang, 2011. "Subsidies in an Economy with Endogenous Cycles Over Neoclassical Investment and Neo-Schumpeterian Innovation Regimes," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 11-23, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  15. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2005. "Wie viel Aufkommen kostet die Einführung eines Konsumsteuersystems? Weniger als 1% des BIP," Ifo Schnelldienst, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 58(03), pages 23-25, 02.
  16. Roger Gordon & Laura Kalambokidis & Jeffrey Rohaly & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Toward a Consumption Tax, and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 161-165, May.
  17. Peter Birch Sørensen, 2006. "Can Capital Income Taxes Survive? And Should They?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1793, CESifo Group Munich.

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