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Vito Tanzi

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Vito Tanzi

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Complexity in taxation

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: Tax systems have become progressively more complex. Various factors have led to increasing complexity. Time has been an important factor. Another factor has been that governments have increasingly used tax systems to promote a growing number of objectives. Lobbies have also contributed to complexity. The chapter presents various estimates of complexity.

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The supply-side revolution and challenges in taxing the rich

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: Taxing the rich is often difficult. Economists’ theories at times makes it more difficult. How should the rich be taxed? There are equity versus efficiency considerations. Should taxes be progressive or proportional? Views have changed over the years. Should all types of income be taxed in the same way? Supply-side theories have led to reductions in tax rates.

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Globalization and the taxation of the rich

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: This chapter looks at how globalization has changed the ecology of taxation. Specifically, it examines globalization and growing difficulties in taxing the rich; the impact of rate reductions on income distribution, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries; the growing role of tax incentives and of tax avoidance; growing income inequality; the concentration of income at the top; supply-side arguments against reducing income inequality; and tax planning.

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Role of taxation in fiscal imbalances before the financial crisis

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: Recessions reduce tax revenue and increase fiscal deficits. Bubbles increase tax revenue and reduce fiscal deficits. The impact of recession is better acknowledged and recognized than that of bubbles. The bubble that preceded the financial crisis and the Great Recession created tax revenue windfalls that reduced fiscal deficits. This sent the wrong signals to economists and policymakers. The windfalls were more important in several countries than realized.

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Taxation and equitable economic development

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: This chapter looks at the role of taxation in promoting growth in developing countries in the decades after World War II as well as changes in views on the role of taxes and spending in later years.

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Why developing countries have low tax levels

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: This chapter focuses on developing countries. It describes how the level of taxation, as the price for public services, is determined by the demand for taxes and the supply of taxes, and the factors that determine both. These factors are mainly responsible for the fact that developing countries end up with lower tax levels than advanced countries.

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Tax reform in Latin America: a long-term assessment

Factors that Shape the Demand and Supply of Taxes

Vito Tanzi

Summary: There have been major changes in tax levels and tax structures in Latin American countries over the past 60–70 years. Also, the quality of tax systems has changed. This chapter describes why this has happened and why the personal income tax has remained unimportant. It exams the risks of raising tax levels with regressive taxes when the income distribution is very uneven, as in Latin America.