Research Publication No. 19
The new Administration and Congress in 1969 will begin a fresh examination of the Federal taxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. system and needs for revising it. The present study deals with the second most important part of the tax system (in terms of revenue): the corporation income tax. The examination of certain major aspects of the tax is designed to help, not only in the discussions of revision in anyone year, but also over a much longer future,
The study reviews the history of the corporation tax from its initial form as an “excise” tax in 1909. The historical section covers various experiments and proposals that have been made, as well as changes that have proved more or less permanent. The central purpose has been to analyze recent experience and, research in order to suggest some priorities in tax revision. The volume of research relating directly and indirectly to the corporation income tax is so large-that a review of results, necessarily, selective, and tentative.
On the question of tax incidenceTax incidence is a measure of who ultimately pays a tax, either directly or through the tax burden. This burden can be split between buyers and consumers, or different groups in the economy. , a hypothesis is suggested that the burden is widely spread through changes in various forms of income, not merely through changes in dividends or in consumer prices.
The most significant effect of the corporation tax appears to be on the total volume of business investment expenditures. A substantial reduction in the rate of the tax from its present all-time high (with the 1968 surcharge) would be a major revision for the long-run.Share