A conceptual analysis of the flat tax.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

James A. Fellows

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 1995

Date Available

December 2013




The introduction of a flat tax is gaining popularity as a possible instrument for the reform of the current tax system. Under a flat-tax structure, the marginal tax rate does not change as taxable income rises. The constancy of the marginal tax rate is maintained regardless of the amount of taxable income. Most advocates of the flat tax prefer a revenue-neutral scheme, which means that taxable income would be correspondingly raised even though tax rates for most taxpayers would be significantly decreased. Supporters are championing the flat-tax system, arguing that it would encourage people to stop their tax-avoidance or tax-evasion behaviors and to become more productive, thereby contributing to the general economy. However, there is a consensus among economists that there is no clear support for the notion that the flat tax can improve investment decisions and boost productivity.


The article was the recipient of the Annual Max Block Award for the outstanding article in the 1995 series of The CPA Journal. Awarded by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. Abstract only. Full-text article is available through licensed access provided by the publisher or through the CPA Journal's open access site at http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/old/17335510.htm. Published in CPA Journal, 65(7), 18-22.




New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.