Delegating Tax

44 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2014 Last revised: 12 Nov 2014

See all articles by James R. Hines Jr.

James R. Hines Jr.

University of Michigan; NBER

Kyle D. Logue

University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: October 2014

Abstract

Congress delegates extensive and growing lawmaking authority to federal administrative agencies in areas other than taxation, but tightly limits the scope of IRS and Treasury regulatory discretion in the tax area, specifically not permitting these agencies to select or adjust tax rates. This Article questions why tax policy does and should differ from other policy areas in this respect, noting some of the potential policy benefits of delegation. Greater delegation of tax lawmaking authority would permit policies to benefit from the expertise of administrative agencies, and afford timely adjustment to changing economic circumstances. Furthermore, delegation of the tax reform process to an independent commission or agency offers the prospect of Congress committing itself to rational reform and long-run budget sustainability in a way that is more apt to succeed than are piecemeal legislative efforts. The Article concludes with an analysis of the constitutionality of tax delegation, noting the applicability of recent Supreme Court interpretations that Congress has broad discretion to delegate rulemaking authority to federal agencies, and that tax policy is of a kind with other federal policies.

Suggested Citation

Hines, James Rodger and Logue, Kyle D., Delegating Tax (October 2014). U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 391; U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 14-005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2402047 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2402047

James Rodger Hines

University of Michigan ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

NBER

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Kyle D. Logue (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States
734.936.2207 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://kylelogue.net

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