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On the Possibility of a No-Return Tax System


Recent events have stimulated interest in reducing or eliminating the annual filing requirement in the income tax. Thirty-six countries already allow “no-return” systems for some of their taxpayers. Moving to a no-return system creates trade-offs in the structures of tax policy as well as the administration of the tax system. We estimate that roughly half of U.S. taxpayers could be placed on a no-return system with relatively minor changes in the structure of the income tax. The benefits and costs of a no-return system hinge on a number of issues that are currently unsolved.


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