Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, December 28, 2012

Is Taxing the Wealthy More, Fair?

IRS 2One of the primary considerations that face lawmakers about how the tax code should be reformed is the overall fairness of raising or lowering taxes on certain classes of citizens. The question that has arisen recently in this country is whether the wealthiest citizens in our country are paying their fair share. At the moment, it appears that leaders from both parties in this country agree that the amount that the wealthy should pay should increase. However, there is still much disagreement over how much is fair. According to Ray D. Madoff, "many argue that the wealthy are already paying a disproportionate share of taxes, a view that new data from the Internal Revenue Service appear to support. Missing from the conversation, however, is an appreciation of the way these data fail to accurately describe the true income of the wealthiest Americans."

Thus, to ensure that members of Congress have an accurate number when accessing how much the wealthiest citizens should pay, the tax code should be reformed to require all forms of income to be reported even income that is tax-free. Of course, the author's suggestion from his article is by no means an endorsement that traditionally tax-free income should be taxed. The author merely believes that we should track the income of all Americans to determine how much income the wealthiest citizens in our nation own. Only when we have this information, can we determine how much of tax is considered fair.

See Ray D. Madoff, Tax Fairness and the Wealthy, Washington Post Opinions, Dec. 26, 2012.


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My "Stevie Wonder" Xmas hope is that our civilization is evolving to a point where everyone just gets the same deal, whether we are talking about taxation, civil rights, property rights, or any other rights for that matter.

Posted by: brian j. cohan | Dec 28, 2012 8:38:32 AM

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