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The Indexation of Interest, Depreciation, and Capital Gains: A Model ofInvestment Incentives

  • Don Fullerton

Despite much recent interest in a consumption tax, the Treasury Department's November 1984 tax plan proposes to adopt carefully coordinated features of a more comprehensive income tax, including the indexation of interest, depreciation, and capital gains.The May 1985 White House proposal would retain some of these indexing provisions.This paper looks at the incentives under alternative tax regimes to make marginal investments in the corporate sector, noncorporate sector, and in owner-occupied housing. It finds that the current system is characterized by effective tax rates that increase with inflation for some assets and decrease with inflation for other assets. Overall rates fall with inflation, and the corporate tax is completely offset by credits, allowances, and deductions. Under the Treasury or White House plans, the corporate tax re-emerges, effective tax rates are considerably more uniform, and the interference of inflation is virtually eliminated.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1655.

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Date of creation: Jun 1985
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Publication status: published as Fullerton, Don. "The Indexation of Interest, Depreciation, and Capital Gains and Tax Reform in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 3 2, No. 1, February 1987, pp. 25-51.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1655
Note: PE
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  1. Mervyn A. King & Don Fullerton, 1983. "The Taxation of Income from Capital: A Comparative Study of the U.S., U.K., Sweden, and West Germany--The Theoretical Framework--," NBER Working Papers 1058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Feldstein, Martin & Dicks-Mireaux, Louis & Poterba, James, 1983. "The effective tax rate and the pretax rate of return," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 129-158, July.
  3. Charles L. Ballard & Don Fullerton & John B. Shoven & John Whalley, 1985. "Replacing the Personal Income Tax with a Progressive Consumption Tax," NBER Chapters, in: A General Equilibrium Model for Tax Policy Evaluation, pages 171-187 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Bradford, David F., 1981. "The incidence and allocation effects of a tax on corporate distributions," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-22, February.
  5. Miller, Merton H, 1977. "Debt and Taxes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 261-75, May.
  6. Stiglitz, Joseph E., 1973. "Taxation, corporate financial policy, and the cost of capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-34, February.
  7. Auerbach, Alan J & Kotlikoff, Laurence J & Skinner, Jonathan, 1983. "The Efficiency Gains from Dynamic Tax Reform," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 24(1), pages 81-100, February.
  8. Darby, Michael R, 1975. "The Financial and Tax Effects of Monetary Policy on Interest Rates," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 13(2), pages 266-76, June.
  9. Alan J. Auerbach, 1980. "Wealth Maximization and the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 0254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Don Fullerton, 1983. "Which Effective Tax Rate?," NBER Working Papers 1123, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Charles M. Tiebout, 1956. "A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 64, pages 416.
  12. Martin Feldstein & Lawrence H. Summers, 1979. "Inflation and the Taxation of Capital Income in the Corporate Sector," NBER Working Papers 0312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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