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Tax Expenditure Estimation and Reporting: A Critical Review

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  • Rosanne Altshuler
  • Robert D. Dietz

Abstract

We examine the measurement of tax expenditures, as well as review issues concerning the classification of tax expenditures generally. We use calculations from NBER's TAXSIM to illustrate some of the problems with the current methodology for estimating tax expenditures. Unlike most previous work on the topic, we focus on how features of the current tax system including the alternative minimum tax and sunset rules complicate and compromise the value of information provided by the tax expenditure budget.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14263.

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Date of creation: Aug 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14263

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  1. Barthold, Thomas A. & Koerner, Thomas & Navratil, John F., 1998. "Effective Marginal Tax Rates Under the Federal Individual Income Tax: Death by One Thousand Pin Pricks?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 51(n. 3), pages 553-64, September.
  2. Davie, Bruce F., 1994. "Tax Expenditures in the Federal Excise Tax System," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 39-62, March.
  3. Burman, Leonard E., 2003. "Is the Tax Expenditure Concept Still Relevant?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 56(3), pages 613-27, September.
  4. Feenberg, Daniel R. & Poterba, James M., 2004. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and Effective Marginal Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 57(2), pages 407-27, June.
  5. Ackerman, Jonathan Z. & Altshuler, Rosanne, 2006. "Constrained Tax Reform: How Political and Economic Constraints Affect the Formation of Tax Policy Proposals," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(1), pages 165-87, March.
  6. Todd Sinai & Joseph Gyourko, 2004. "The (Un)changing Geographical Distribution of Housing Tax Benefits: 1980 to 2000," NBER Working Papers 10322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rosanne Altshuler & Robert Dietz, 2008. "Reconsidering Tax Expenditure Estimation: Challenges And Reforms," Departmental Working Papers, Rutgers University, Department of Economics 200804, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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