Stanley Surrey, the Code and the Regime
14 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2019 Last revised: 6 Dec 2019
Date Written: July 4, 2019
Stanley Surrey (1910-1984) was arguably the most important tax scholar of his generation. Surrey was a rare combination of an academic (Berkeley and Harvard law schools, 1947-1961 and 1969-1981) and a government official (Tax Legislative Counsel, 1942-1947; Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, 1961-1969). Today he is mostly remembered for inventing the concept of tax expenditures and the tax expenditure budget. This paper will argue that while Surrey was influential in shaping domestic tax policy for a generation and had an impact after his death on the Tax Reform Act of 1986, his longest lasting contributions were in shaping the international tax regime, since the concept of the single tax principle that shapes contemporary international tax reform efforts can be traced directly to his writing and activities both in academia and in the government.
Keywords: Stanley Surrey, Tax Expenditures, Single Tax Principle, Tax Reform
JEL Classification: H26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation