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Tax reform: Chasing the elusive dream

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  • Attiat Ott
  • Sheila Vegari

Abstract

The paper provides a bird's-eye view of the long and arduous task of reforming the federal individual income tax. As a starting point for reviewing the major reforms, the authors evaluate Secretary Simon's criteria that underlie his contention that the “tax system was badly in need of a thorough overhaul.” Principles that should guide tax reforms are spelled out. Conflicts that arise with the application of these principles are highlighted. An examination of reform efforts in light of the principles and criteria set in the Treasury Department's Blue Prints for Tax Reform forms the basis for evaluating reforms enacted over the period 1978–2001. The review suggests that we are partway towards achieving the tax man's dream of equity, efficiency, and simplicity. “The task of comprehensive reform is monumental in its dimension and far reaching in itspotential impact on our economic well-being.” [William E. Simon, 1977, p. 11] Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2003

Suggested Citation

  • Attiat Ott & Sheila Vegari, 2003. "Tax reform: Chasing the elusive dream," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 31(3), pages 266-282, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:266-282
    DOI: 10.1007/BF02298820
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/BF02298820
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard J. Cebula, 2013. "New and Current Evidence on Determinants of Aggregate Federal Personal Income Tax Evasion in the United States," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(3), pages 701-731, July.
    2. Richard J. Cebula, 2014. "The underground economy in the U.S.A.: preliminary new evidence on the impact of income tax rates (and other factors) on aggregate tax evasion 1975-2008," PSL Quarterly Review, Economia civile, vol. 67(271), pages 451-481.
    3. Cebula, Richard J., 2011. "Aggregate Income Tax Evasion: Empirical Results Using new IRS Data for the U.S. - L’evasione aggregata del reddito: risultati empirici ottenuti utilizzando i nuovi dati IRS per gli USA," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 64(4), pages 423-443.
    4. Cebula, Richard & Foley, Maggie, 2010. "Personal Income Tax Evasion Determinants Revisited: An Exploratory Study Using Newly Available Data," MPRA Paper 52028, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Feige, Edgar L. & Cebula, Richard, 2011. "America’s unreported economy: measuring the size, growth and determinants of income tax evasion in the U.S," MPRA Paper 34781, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Cebula, Richard J. & Coombs, Christopher & Yang, Bill Z., 2009. "The Tax Reform Act of 1986: An Assessment in Terms of Tax Compliance Behavior," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 62(2), pages 145-162.
    7. Cebula, Richard & Boylan, Robert & Foley, Maggie & Isard, Douglass, 2014. "Implications of Recent Federal Personal Income Tax Increases for Income Tax Evasion, Tax Revenues, and Budget Deficits," MPRA Paper 55308, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Richard J. Cebula, 2014. "Where Has The Currency Gone? And Why? The Underground Economy And Personal Income Tax Evasion In The U.S., 1970-2008," Review of Economic Analysis, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, vol. 6(1), pages 36-52, June.
    9. Feige, Edgar L. & Cebula, Richard, 2011. "America’s Underground Economy: Measuring the Size, Growth and Determinants of Income Tax Evasion in the U.S," MPRA Paper 29672, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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