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Learning to Love Form 1040Two Cheers for the Return-Based Mass Income Tax$
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Lawrence Zelenak

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226018928

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226019086.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 15 December 2018

Tax Returns and Fiscal Citizenship

Tax Returns and Fiscal Citizenship

(p.1) One Tax Returns and Fiscal Citizenship
Learning to Love Form 1040

Lawrence Zelenak

University of Chicago Press

This chapter sets out the book's purpose, which is to defend tax returns from a very different perspective. It argues that tax returns serve important purposes apart from accommodating high degrees of complexity, one of which is raising the tax consciousness of the average citizen, compared with the low level of tax consciousness that would prevail under a federal retail sales tax, VAT, or return-free income tax. The book also makes the case for retaining a return-based mass income tax not because such a system can accommodate highly complex rules for determining tax liabilities, but because of the potential of a return-based system to promote fiscal citizenship. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords:   taxes, taxation, income tax return, tax system

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