An Introduction to Taxation Solutions

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Chapter I:1

An Introduction to Taxation

Discussion Questions

I:1-1 The Supreme Court held the income tax to be unconstitutional in 1895 because the income tax was considered to be a direct tax. At that time, the U.S. Constitution required that an income tax be apportioned among the states in proportion to their populations. This type of tax system would be extremely difficult to administer because different rates of tax would apply to individual taxpayers depending on their states of residence. p. I:1 2.

I:1-2 The pay-as-you-go withholding was needed in 1943 to avoid significant tax collection problems as the tax base broadened from 6% of the population in 1939 to 74% in 1945. Pay as you go permitted the federal government to deduct taxes directly out of an employee's wages. p. I:1-3. I:1-3 Under a progressive tax rate structure, the tax rate increases as the taxpayer's income increases. Currently, for 2011, tax rates of 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% or 35% apply depending upon the taxpayer's filing status and taxable income levels. Under a proportional tax rate or "flat tax" structure, the same tax rate applies to all taxpayers regardless of their income levels. Under a regressive tax rate structure, the tax rate decreases with an increase in income level. The concept of vertical equity holds that taxpayers with higher income levels should pay a higher proportion of tax and that the tax should be borne by those who have the "ability to pay." Thus, Congressman Patrick's opposition to the flat tax is theoretically correct; all taxpayers will pay taxes at the same rate, regardless of the ability to pay. pp. I:1 4 and I:1-5.

I:1-4 It is possible for the government to raise taxes without raising tax rates. Because there are two components in computing a taxpayer's tax, the tax base and the tax rate, taxes can be raised by increasing either the…...

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