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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 relatively simple: when the unit of taxation is the individual, the tax rate structure is relatively 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," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0713, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ays:ispwps:paper0713
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    File URL: http://icepp.gsu.edu/files/2015/03/ispwp0713.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Sally Wallace & James Alm, 2004. "The Jamaican Individual Income Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0430, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    8. James Alm and Joege Martinez Vazquez, 2003. ""Sizing" the problem of the Hard-to-Tax," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0321, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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    10. Dillon Alleyne & James Alm & Roy Bahl & Sally Wallace, 2004. "Tax Burden in Jamaica," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper0434, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
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    Keywords

    Return-Free Tax Systems; Individual Income Tax; tax policy; social policy;

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