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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 6 No. 1 (Winter 1992)


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Did the Tax Reform Act of 1986 Simplify Tax Matters?

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Slemrod, Joel. 1992. "Did the Tax Reform Act of 1986 Simplify Tax Matters?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 6(1): 45-57.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.6.1.45


This paper attempts to assess whether the Tax Reform Act of 1986 simplified tax matters significantly, or at all. I conclude that, despite a few scattered signs that tax-related financial planning has declined, the compliance cost of the income tax system is probably higher now than it was in the early 1980s. This suggests that the Tax Reform Act achieved little, if any, simplification in the tax system, although it remains possible that the Act dampened what would have been an even greater increase in compliance cost.

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Slemrod, Joel (U MI)

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H20: Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue: General


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