Apr 17, 2018

Essential Tax Day Reading

Chad Reese Managing Editor

As the personal tax filing deadline approaches, many taxpayers may be surprised at changes to the process.

Below, you’ll find some key research from Mercatus Center scholars to help demystify tax policy and explain some of those changes.

  • Economists Veronique de Rugy, Jason Fichtner, and Michael Farren respond to 10 key questions taxpayers may have about recent tax reform efforts. Read their answers on The Bridge.
  • The Tax Foundation’s Scott Drenkard, the Mercatus Center’s Jason Fichtner, and Maryland’s Director of the Bureau of Revenue Estimates Andrew Schaufele sat down to discuss what federal tax reform efforts mean for state taxes. Learn more about federal tax reform’s effects on states
  • Scott Sumner talks about why filing income taxes can be so painful, and makes the case for a better way. Read more to find out what it’s like to file taxes with an economist.
  • Tax reform efforts have triggered significant stock buybacks, which policymakers often view with suspicion, but Tyler Cowen argues that they are nothing to fear.
  • The most basic goal of tax policy is to raise enough revenue to meet the government’s spending requirement with the least impact, but as Jason Fichtner and Jacob Feldman find in their book The Hidden Cost of Federal Tax Policy, the US tax code fails to meet that standard.
  • Not all taxes are income taxes, as Adam J. Hoffer and Todd Nesbit point out in their recent book For Your Own Good. Bringing together the work of 25 scholars in the field of public choice economics, Hoffer and Nesbit raise awareness of the consequences of so-called “sin taxes.”
  • Along with changes to personal income taxes, recent federal tax reform made significant changes to corporate taxes. Jason Fichtner and Hunter Cox argue that if the goal of tax reform was to create economic growth by promoting investment, then cutting tax rates and allowing “full expensing” was the appropriate policy change, but that doing so means policymakers should do away with the interest payment deduction.

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