Tax Shelters and Passive Losses After the Tax Reform Act of 1986
AbstractThe precipitous decline in tax sheltered investments after the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA) is widely attributed to the passive loss rules. These rules disallowed losses from activities in which the taxpayer did not materially participate as a current deduction against all sources of income except for other passive activities. This paper demonstrates instead that the role of the passive loss limitations was secondary to that of other reforms enacted by TRA, most importantly the repeal of the investment tax credit and the long-term capital gain exclusion. These other reforms not only lowered after-tax rates of return on tax sheltered investments but also eliminated the positive correlation between the investor's marginal tax rate and the investment's after-tax rate of return. As a result, high income taxpayers ceased to be the natural clientele for legitimate tax shelters after TRA. The passive loss rules were more effective in curtailing the use of 'abusive' tax shelters; however, it is shown that a more narrowly focused restriction on seller financing of tax sheltered investments could have accomplished the same goal with much less scope for discouraging productive economic investments.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5171.
Date of creation: Jul 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, Ed. by Feldstein and Poterba, University of Chicago Press, 1996, pp. 193-226.
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- Andrew A. Samwick, 1996. "Tax Shelters and Passive Losses after the Tax Reform Act of 1986," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 193-233 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
- E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pechman, Joseph A, 1987. "Tax Reform: Theory and Practice," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 11-28, Summer.
- Harvey S. Rosen, 1987. "The Marriage Tax is Down But Not Out," NBER Working Papers 2231, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel Feenberg & James Poterba, 1992.
"Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns,"
NBER Working Papers
4229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel R. Feenberg & James M. Poterba, 1993. "Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High-Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 7, pages 145-177 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feenberg, D.R. & Poterba, J.M., 1992. "Income Inequality and the Incomes of Very High Income Taxpayers: Evidence from Tax Returns," Working papers 92-16, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
- Feldstein, Martin S & Taylor, Amy, 1976. "The Income Tax and Charitable Contributions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1201-22, November.
- Gentry, William M., 1994. "Taxes, financial decisions and organizational form : Evidence from publicly traded partnerships," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 223-244, February.
- James M. Poterba & Andrew Samwick, 2001.
"Household Portfolio Allocation over the Life Cycle,"
in: Aging Issues in the United States and Japan, pages 65-104
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James M. Poterba & Andrew A. Samwick, 1997. "Household Portfolio Allocation Over the Life Cycle," NBER Working Papers 6185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joel Slemrod, 1996.
"High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response,"
in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 169-192
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joel Slemrod, 1995. "High-Income Families and the Tax Changes of the 1980s: The Anatomy of Behavioral Response," NBER Working Papers 5218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.