Misunderstanding Tax Expenditures and Tax Rates

2 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2010

Date Written: November 22, 2010


This article criticizes a proposal recently put forward by the co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to abolish all tax expenditures and sharply reduce statutory tax rates. The author believes that abolishing all tax expenditures without regard to merit or a proper definition of income for tax purposes is unwise. Furthermore, the emphasis on statutory tax rates is misguided because effective tax rates are the relevant rates for incentives.

Keywords: Tax Expenditures, Effective Tax Rates, Budget Reform

JEL Classification: H20, H60, K34

Suggested Citation

Bartlett, Bruce, Misunderstanding Tax Expenditures and Tax Rates (November 22, 2010). Tax Notes, Vol. 129, No. 8, p. 931, November 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1713275 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1713275

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