Postwar Taxation and Economic Progress

By Harold M. Groves | Go to book overview

IV. EXCESS-PROFITS TAXES, MONOPOLY, AND SMALL BUSINESS

INTRODUCTION

IN THE preceding chapter, it was concluded that our federal tax system would be greatly improved by the elimination of most taxes on business, as such. It may seem a waste of time, therefore, to devote the next three chapters to problems of selecting and applying a business tax. If no business tax makes sense, how can form A be more sensible or less nonsensical than form B? Actually, the answers are not quite so black and white as that. Our recommendations call for the retention of a corporate income tax in form and gradual abandonment of it in substance. Moreover, since there is always the possibility that one's suggestions may not be followed, we need not be neutral concerning the alternative choices among business-tax procedures.

The present chapter is devoted to a discussion of business taxes as they bear on the problem of monopoly and business size. It considers the application of business taxes that aim primarily at social control.

This and the two following chapters deal mainly with federal business-tax problems, but much of the discussion applies also to the state and local situation.


EXCESS-PROFITS-TAX REPEAL1

The present excess-profits tax was set up as an emergency measure and its wording indicates the absence of any intent to carry it beyond the war. However, there will undoubtedly

____________________
1
This section was written before the Revenue Act of 1945 repealed the war- time and declared-value excess-profits taxes. However, some of the issues involved in these taxes are still in debate, and, for this reason among others, the section has been retained as originally drafted.

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