Administering the Tax System We Have
Kristin E. Hickman
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - School of Law
March 14, 2014
University of Washington Anthology (Forthcoming)
Also published at 63 Duke L.J. 1717 (2004)
Minnesota Legal Studies Research Paper No. 14-20
Traditional perceptions of tax exceptionalism from administrative law doctrines and requirements have been predicated at least in part on the importance of the tax code’s revenue raising function. Yet, Congress increasingly relies on the IRS to administer government programs that have little to do with raising revenue and much more to do with distributing government benefits to the economically disadvantaged, subsidizing approved activities, and regulating outright certain economic sectors like nonprofits, pensions, and now health care. As the attentions of the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service shift away from raising revenue and toward these other matters, the revenue-based justification for tax exceptionalism from general administrative law norms fades. To demonstrate the shift, the Article incorporates empirical analysis of Treasury and IRS regulatory activity over time.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: tax exceptionalism, administrative law, treasury regulations, tax administration
JEL Classification: K23, K34
Date posted: March 16, 2014 ; Last revised: November 12, 2014
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