Using a VAT to Reform the Income Tax

Research Report

Using a VAT to Reform the Income Tax

Abstract

In "100 Million Unnecessary Returns," Columbia University law professor Michael J. Graetz proposed a sweeping reform of the federal tax system that is intended to simplify the tax system, improve economic incentives, and maintain fairness. The Graetz proposal would remove most current taxpayers from the income tax rolls, reform the corporate income tax, significantly reduce the top individual and corporate rates, and adopt a value-added tax (VAT). This paper describes the Graetz proposal in detail and analyzes its effects on federal revenues, spending and the deficit, the distribution of tax burdens, economic incentives, and tax administrative and compliance costs.

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