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Reconsidering Tax Expenditure Estimation

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  • Altshuler, Rosanne
  • Dietz, Robert

Abstract

We examine the measurement of tax expenditures, as well as review issues concerning the classification of tax expenditures generally. We use calculations from the Tax Policy Center’s microsimulation tax model 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. We also present alternative measures of tax expenditures to improve the quality of information regarding the federal tax system.

Suggested Citation

  • Altshuler, Rosanne & Dietz, Robert, 2011. "Reconsidering Tax Expenditure Estimation," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 459-489, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:64:y:2011:i:2:p:459-89
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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;National Tax Journal, vol. 59(1), pages 165-187, March.
    3. Isabelle Huault & V. Perret & S. Charreire-Petit, 2007. "Management," Post-Print halshs-00337676, HAL.
    4. Rosanne Altshuler & Robert Dietz, 2008. "Reconsidering Tax Expenditure Estimation: Challenges And Reforms," Departmental Working Papers 200804, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    5. Burman, Leonard E., 2003. "Is the Tax Expenditure Concept Still Relevant?," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 56(3), pages 613-627, September.
    6. 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;National Tax Journal, vol. 51(3), pages 553-564, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Avram, Silvia, 2014. "The distributional effects of personal income tax expenditure," ISER Working Paper Series 2014-26, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Avram, Silvia, 2014. "The distributional effects of personal income tax expenditure," EUROMOD Working Papers EM14/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Pawel Galinski, 2014. "Significance of Tax Expenditures for Budgets of Local Governments: the Case of Poland," Economic Alternatives, University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, issue 3, pages 56-70, October.
    4. Agustin Redonda, 2016. "Tax Expenditures and Sustainability. An Overview," Discussion Notes 1603, Council on Economic Policies.
    5. Poterba, James M. & Sinai, Todd, 2011. "Revenue Costs and Incentive Effects of the Mortgage Interest Deduction for Owner-Occupied Housing," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 64(2), pages 531-564, June.

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