Did Tax Reform Reduce Actual US Progressivity? Evidence from the Taxpayer Compliance Measurement Program
Micro data from audited tax returns are used to evaluatechanges in the actual progressitivity of U.S. federal incometaxes in 1979 and 1988, which is distinct from apparent progressivity.Statistical inference methods are applied to global measuresof both actual and apparent residual and liability progression.The analysis reveals an absence of change in the overall levelof actual residual progressivity, but statistically significantdeclines in actual liability progression. The results indicatethat in assessing overall tax progression it is important totake sampling errors into account and that measures of actualtax progressivity can deviate significantly from apparent progressivity. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997
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