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Fundamental Tax Reform in The Netherlands

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  • Sijbren Cnossen
  • Lans Bovenberg

Abstract

The Dutch Parliament has passed legislation for a new income tax that abolishes the current tax on personal capital income and substitutes it by a presumptive capital income tax, which is in fact a net wealth tax. This paper contrasts this wealth tax with a conventional realization-based capital gains tax, a retrospective capital gains tax which attempts to charge interest on the deferred tax, and a capital accretion tax which taxes capital gains as they accrue. None of the approaches meets all criteria for a 'good' income tax, i.e., equity, efficiency, and administrative feasibility. We thus conclude that the effective and neutral taxation of capital income can best be ensured through a combination of (a) a capital accretion tax to capture the returns on easy-to-value financial products, (b) a capital gains tax with interest to tax the returns on hard-to-value real estate and small businesses, and (c) a broad presumptive capital income tax, i.e., a net wealth tax, to account for the utility of holding wealth. We favor uniform and moderate proportional tax rates in the context of a dual income tax under which capital income is taxed separately from labor income.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 342.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_342

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Keywords: Capital income taxation; capital gains taxation; tax reform; wealth tax;

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References

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  1. Auerbach, Alan J, 1991. "Retrospective Capital Gains Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 167-78, March.
  2. Auerbach, Alan J. & Bradford, David F., 2004. "Generalized cash-flow taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 957-980, April.
  3. Alan J. Auerbach, 1988. "Capital Gains Taxation in the United States: Realizations, Revenue, and Rhetoric," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 595-638.
  4. Peter Sørensen, 1994. "From the global income tax to the dual income tax: Recent tax reforms in the Nordic countries," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 57-79, February.
  5. Gerald E. Auten & Joseph J. Cordes, 1991. "Policy Watch: Cutting Capital Gains Taxes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 181-192, Winter.
  6. Alan J. Auerbach, 1990. "The Deadweight Loss from `Non-Neutral' Capital Income Taxation," NBER Working Papers 2510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David F. Bradford, 1997. "Fixing Capital Gains: Symmetry, Consistency and Correctness in the Taxation of Financial Instruments," NBER Working Papers 5754, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bovenberg, A.L. & Rele, H.J.M. ter, 1998. "Reforming Dutch capital taxation," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-76543, Tilburg University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sijbren Cnossen, 2002. "Tax Policy in the European Union: A Review of Issues and Options," CESifo Working Paper Series 758, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. José Mª Durán Cabré & Alejandro Esteller Moré, 2007. "An empirical analysis of wealth taxation: Equity Vs.tax compliance," Working Papers XREAP2007-03, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jun 2007.
  3. Bernd Genser, 2006. "The Dual Income Tax: Implementation and Experience in European Countries," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0625, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  4. Cnossen,Sijbren, 2002. "Tax policy in the european union, A review of issues and options," Research Memorandum 023, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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