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DFIN US Readings in Tax History
|Simplify Tax Code to Solve IRS
|APRIL 15, 2022
the reader has not prepared Federal taxes the complexity will be
shocking. It is unreasonable for the IRS to force people into
hiring a tax preparer or expensive software.
to be simplified.
"On top of the BBB proposals, the president proposed a 120 page
slew of complicated tax hikes as part of his recent budget.
Overall, Biden’s tax policy is a crazy jumble of inconsistent
hikes and narrow breaks. Proposed business tax hikes would
undermine investment in the same activities that new breaks were
aimed at, such as renewable energy. The proposed corporate tax
rate hike would offshore jobs at the same time the president is
proposing a new “tax credit for inshoring jobs to the United
Tax History Project
A public service initiative from Tax Analysts. Established in 1995, the Project provides scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the general public with information on the history of U.S. public finance.
Historical Perspective: Sacrifice and Surcharge
United States has a tradition of wartime fiscal sacrifice stretching
back to the nation's founding. From James Madison to Lyndon Johnson,
presidents have asked the American people to foot the bill for national
defense. As Franklin Roosevelt declared in 1942, "When so many Americans
are contributing all their energies and even their lives to the nation's
great task, I am confident that all Americans will be proud to
contribute their utmost in taxes."
Historical Perspective: The Windfall Profit Tax -- Career of a Concept
"In the late 1970s, oil prices were expected to increase dramatically
once controls disappeared. Regulated prices were pegged as low as $6 per
barrel, while global prices had climbed to almost $30. According to the
Joint Committee on Taxation, lifting the price controls would produce $1
trillion in new revenue for oil producers between 1980 and 1990. Profits
were expected to rise by more than $400 billion over the same period."
Edwin R.A. Seligman and the Beginnings of the U.S. Income Tax
"Among the forces that helped forge the modern American fiscal state,
none was perhaps more important than the intellectual movement
supporting the direct and graduated taxation of income. For that
transformation in American public finance was guided by a paradigm shift
in the legal and economic theories that undergirded tax policy. By
leading the theoretical movement for a permanent, progressive income
tax, those theorists became the architects or visionaries of the modern
American fiscal state."
What's Old Is New Again: Historical Perspectives on Tax Law & Policy
|"At a conference held
July 18-19 in Los Angeles, tax scholars gathered to debate a host of
familiar topics, including:
- the nature and direction of fundamental tax
- the fate of the estate tax;
- the abuse of the charitable tax exemption
and the problem of tax shelters more broadly;
- the effect of globalization on tax policy;
- the difficulty of developing a sustainable
tax program for countries struggling to recover from military
Historical Perspective: What Goes Around, Comes Around
"Americans have also, however, been on the receiving end of tax ideas.
During the Civil War, British experience with the income tax played a
crucial role in shaping the American introduction of a similar levy. And
in the late 19th century, German ideas about the income tax sparked
vibrant debate among U.S. economists over the reintroduction of that
controversial fiscal tool. Several historians, including Oxford scholar
Holder Nearing, have reconstructed the influence of that German
scholarship on American tax ideas."
Historical Perspective: Ideas in Context
"Consider, for instance, today's ferment around tax reform. Debate among
conservatives is substantially more vibrant than anything going on
between Republicans and Democrats. Advocates for the Fair Tax and the
flat tax are having the sort of passionate argument that once found a
home in the fringe journals of the left; we haven't seen this sort of
internecine bickering since the Partisan
on the New
All Over Again: The Selling of Tax Legislation
"The specter of tyranny by the majority looms over American democracy,
and nowhere more so than in the area of taxation. Since the inception of
the income tax, critics have warned of class warfare and of the masses
"soaking the rich," thereby shifting most of the burden of paying for
government onto a small group of wealthy taxpayers."
Andrew Mellon's Unsuccessful Attempt to Repeal Estate Taxes
Prior to 2001, "The last time anyone seriously attempted to repeal
the federal estate tax occurred toward the end of the series of tax
cuts in the 1920s spearheaded by Treasury Secretary Andrew W.
Mellon. Between 1925 and 1928, Mellon attempted unsuccessfully to
secure repeal of federal estate taxes. In proposing repeal, Mellon
changed Treasury Department policy on estate taxes more than a year
into the income tax reform program to reduce marginal taxes on high
incomes, popularly known as the Mellon plan for scientific taxation.
This article tells the story of the old fight over the federal
estate tax, in the hope of illuminating the current one."
A Closer Look at Who Does and Doesn't Pay U.S. Income Tax
Tax History Museum
A virtual museum of American tax history.
Presidential Tax Returns
Copies of the tax returns filed by various American presidents, including Franklin Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and George W. Bush.
Selected readings from the Federalist Papers, including every major discussion of the Constitution's power to tax.
Taxes During The Great Depression
Tax Policy during the most difficult
time in US history. Cartoons
Cartoons, posters, and other images from the history of U.S. taxation.
Readings in Tax History
Research, analysis, and commentary on tax history and contemporary tax debates.
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