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Tax Expenditure Estimation and Reporting: A Critical Review

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  • Rosanne Altshuler
  • Robert D. Dietz

Abstract

We examine the measurement of tax expenditures, as well as review issues concerning the classification of tax expenditures generally. We use calculations from NBER's TAXSIM 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosanne Altshuler & Robert D. Dietz, 2008. "Tax Expenditure Estimation and Reporting: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 14263, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14263
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14263.pdf
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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. Davie, Bruce F., 1994. "Tax Expenditures in the Federal Excise Tax System," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 47(1), pages 39-62, March.
    3. Feenberg, Daniel R. & Poterba, James M., 2004. "The Alternative Minimum Tax and Effective Marginal Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 57(2), pages 407-427, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Davie, Bruce F., 1994. "Tax Expenditures in the Federal Excise Tax System," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 47(1), pages 39-62, March.
    6. Todd Sinai & Joseph Gyourko, 2004. "The (Un)changing Geographical Distribution of Housing Tax Benefits: 1980 to 2000," NBER Working Papers 10322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Rosanne Altshuler & Robert Dietz, 2008. "Reconsidering Tax Expenditure Estimation: Challenges And Reforms," Departmental Working Papers 200804, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
    8. 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.
    9. 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. Tatiana Malinina, 2010. "Recognition and Measurement of Tax Expenditures: International Experience and Russian Practice," Research Paper Series, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, issue 146P.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General

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