Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

This is the first step of a new epilogue for my book 100 Million Unnecessary Returns: A Simple, Fair, and Competitive Tax Plan for the United States. In January 2012, the Tax Policy Center (TPC), pursuant to a grant from Pew Charitable Trust, published an article analyzing and estimating the parameters of the tax plan set forth in this book. TPC has now updated its estimates to take into account the January 2013 “fiscal cliff” legislation and other economic changes. Certain details of the plan have also been revised somewhat.

The competitive tax reform plan has five pieces: First, enact a VAT, a broad-based tax on sales of goods and services, now used by more than 160 countries worldwide. Many English-speaking countries call this a goods and services tax (GST). Second, use the revenue produced by this consumption tax to finance an income tax exemption of $100,000 of family income – freeing more than 120 million American families from income taxation – and lower the income tax rates on income above that amount. Third, lower the corporate income tax rate to 15 percent. Fourth, protect low-and-moderate-income workers from a tax increase through payroll tax cuts. Fifth, protect low-and-moderate income families from a tax increase by substantially expanded refundable tax credits for children, delivered through debit cards to be used at the cash register.

Comments

This paper was presented at the annual meeting of the National Tax Association on November 21, 2013. It will be revised for publication in the National Tax Journal.

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