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Implications of Return-Free Tax Systems for the Structure of the Individual Income Tax

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  • Janet Holtzblatt

Abstract

Many countries do not require all taxpayers to file an annual income tax return. Return-free systems shift some of the costs of operating the tax system from taxpayers to employers, other third parties, and the government. Return-free systems may work best when the tax system is simple: When the unit of taxation is the individual, the tax rate structure is flat, and there are few deductions and credits. The more the tax code is used to achieve tax and social policy goals other than simplification, the more difficult it may be to exempt most taxpayers from filing requirements.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Holtzblatt, 2007. "Implications of Return-Free Tax Systems for the Structure of the Individual Income Tax," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 327-349, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(200709)63:3_327:iortsf_2.0.tx_2-b
    DOI: 10.1628/001522107X250096
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dagney Faulk & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez & Sally Wallace, 2007. "Using Human-Capital Theory to Establish a Potential-Income Tax," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 415-435, September.
    2. Immonen, Ritva, et al, 1998. "Tagging and Taxing: The Optimal Use of Categorical and Income Information in Designing Tax/Transfer Schemes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(258), pages 179-192, May.
    3. Lars P. Feld & Bruno S. Frey, 2002. "Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 87-99, July.
    4. Gordon, Roger & Li, Wei, 2009. "Tax structures in developing countries: Many puzzles and a possible explanation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 855-866, August.
    5. Laurence Jacquet & Bruno Van der Linden, 2006. "The Normative Analysis of Tagging Revisited: Dealing with Stigmatization," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(2), pages 168-198, June.
    6. Alessandro Balestrino & Umberto Galmarini, 2005. "On the Redistributive Properties of Presumptive Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1381, CESifo Group Munich.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    income tax reform; tax administration;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H24 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Personal Income and Other Nonbusiness Taxes and Subsidies
    • H8 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration

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