Five Key Research Findings on Wealth Taxation for the Super Rich
20 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 27, 2019
This essay summarizes five key findings from the author’s in-progress research evaluating the potential of wealth tax reform proposals for taxing the super rich. These five key findings are as follows:
-- First, the existing U.S. tax system does a very poor job of meaningfully taxing the super rich.
-- Second, there are only two approaches for reform that could plausibly succeed in making it so that the U.S. tax system would meaningfully tax the super rich: wealth taxation and mark-to-market taxation (sometimes known as “accrual” taxation).
-- Third, piecemeal reforms to the existing tax system that some have argued for as “progressive alternatives” to wealth tax reforms should be thought of as complements to wealth taxation rather than as competitors.
-- Fourth, much of the public criticism of wealth tax reform proposals ignores recent legal scholarship on valuation methodologies and other implementation design options, to the extent that this criticism mostly only applies to outdated, “straw man” versions of how a modern wealth tax might be implemented.
-- Fifth, concerns about the Supreme Court striking down wealth tax reforms as unconstitutional can be addressed by including fallback options in the wealth tax legislation.
Keywords: wealth tax, valuation
JEL Classification: K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation