The Individual Income Tax

The Individual Income Tax

The Individual Income Tax

The Individual Income Tax

Excerpt

THE INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX, the mainstay of the federal tax system of the United States, yielded 45 percent of all federal receipts in the past five fiscal years, dominating by a wide margin receipts from any other single source. Even though the minimum taxable level of income has been adjusted upward in recent years, a large majority of the nation's income recipients pay income tax. For more than sixty years, the levy, has been a part of the nation's economic, political, and social landscape.

The extent of the nation's reliance on the individual income tax is not a measure of its popularity. Many, questioning the wisdom of progressive taxation, believe that too much reliance is placed on the income tax. Others believe that progression has not been carried far enough. Still others regard the tax, as it has developed in the United States, as too generous in permitting special exemptions, deductions, and exclusions for particular groups of taxpayers or activities.

Since the federal income tax was adopted in 1913, many changes in its structure have been made and others have been proposed. Alternatives, such as consumption and wealth taxes, have also been advocated. This study, an updated, thorough revision of the original book published by Brookings in 1964, is an evaluation of experience . . .

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