A Chronology Of Postwar U.S. Federal Income Tax Policy
This note provides a chronology of major tax events that involved changes in federal taxes on individual and corporate income from 1948 to 2006. For each event, the note provides background and policy motivation, major provisions, legislative timeline, and estimated revenue changes. As most tax changes were preceded by extensive legislative delays, this chronology suggests that people were likely to have foreknowledge about tax policy. It also finds that postwar income tax policy was typically motivated by one of three rationales: 1) balancing the budget or reducing deficits, 2) controlling inflation, and 3) stimulating economic activity or promoting growth.
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