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Transition Strategies In Enacting Fundamental Tax Reform

  • Keuschnigg, Christian
  • Keuschnigg, Mirela

This paper discusses transition strategies that might be used in moving from an income tax to consumption based business taxes in the form of an R-base cash-flow tax, an R+F-base tax, or an ACE (allowance for corporate equity) tax. While these three taxes have attractive neutrality properties, moving from the status quo to a new system often involves a difficult trade-off between short-run losses and longrun gains. We consider two alternative ways of spreading the gains and costs of reform more evenly across generations. Deficit financing of the large revenue loss that occurs immediately after reform allows the smoothing of wage tax rates over time and the elimination or reduction of short-run income losses. Alternatively, a system of delayed deductions requires firms to carry forward with interest some of the large deductions that are newly available after the enactment of a major tax reform. In shifting tax revenue from the future to the present, such policies are politically appealing, as they trade somewhat reduced future income gains for improved economic performance immediately after reform.

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Article provided by National Tax Association in its journal National Tax Journal.

Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 357-85

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Handle: RePEc:ntj:journl:v:65:y:2012:i:2:p:357-85
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  1. Christian Keuschnigg, 1991. "The Transition to a Cash Flow Income Tax," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 127(II), pages 113-140, June.
  2. John W. Diamond & George R. Zodrow, 2007. "Economic Effects of a Personal Capital-Income Tax Add-On to a Flat Tax," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 63(3), pages 374-395, September.
  3. Roger Gordon & Laura Kalambokidis & Jeffrey Rohaly & Joel Slemrod, 2004. "Toward a Consumption Tax, and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 161-165, May.
  4. Alan J. Auerbach & Laurence J. Kotlikoff & Jonathan Skinner, 1981. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," NBER Working Papers 0819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Sarkar, Shounak & Zodrow, George R., 1993. "Transitional Issues in Moving to a Direct Consumption Tax," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 46(3), pages 359-76, September.
  6. Gravelle, Jane G, 1991. "Income, Consumption, and Wage Taxation in a Life-Cycle Model: Separating Efficiency from Redistribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 985-95, September.
  7. Christian Keuschnigg, 2007. "Exports, Foreign Direct Investment and the Costs of Corporate Taxation," CESifo Working Paper Series 2114, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Christian Keuschnigg & Mirela Keuschnigg, 2010. "Transition Strategies in Fundamental Tax Reform," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-10, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  9. Keuschnigg, Christian, 1994. "Dynamic tax incidence and intergenerationally neutral reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 343-366, February.
  10. Johannes Becker & Clemens Fuest, 2005. "Does Germany collect revenue from taxing the normal return to capital?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(4), pages 491-511, December.
  11. Feldstein, Martin, 1976. "On the theory of tax reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 77-104.
  12. Doina Maria Radulescu & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2007. "ACE versus CBIT: Which is Better for Investment and Welfare?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 53(2), pages 294-328, June.
  13. Bonds, Stephen R. & Devereux, Michael P., 1995. "On the design of a neutral business tax under uncertainty," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 57-71, September.
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