Flat Tax Pros And Cons


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Advantages Of Flat Taxes:

Pros and Cons of Flat Taxes

Ensures to eliminate all confusions:

Under a system of progressive taxation policies, an access is supposed to be granted to the present income brackets. This should be done so as to carry out an accurate filing of the taxes. However, with the help of flat taxes, individuals can definitely earn benefits because they make use of a single tax bracket only. This ultimately helps in getting rid of all kinds of confusions.

Reduction in tax preparation expenses:

A number of recent reports have stated the fact that there are nearly 50% cases of tax filers who are required to professional. This should be done so as to begin the preparation of their taxes as well as their respective files in return. But, the requirements of a flat tax are completely different which makes it much more helpful.

This is because they ensure to make use of a simple calculative process for determining all the wide range of taxation responsibilities.

Elimination of supplemental taxes:

It is especially under the system of flat taxations that only the earned amount of money has to face the subjugation of the annual taxes. This throws light upon the fact that all the dividends, interest as well as the other types of generated wealth are given the option so that they can be excluded.

Therefore, flat taxes serves to benefit more than the progressive taxation system. They ensure to eliminate all the supplemental forms of taxes.

Ensures to encourage economic growth:

Elimination of self-employment tax:

Why There Won’t Be Any Flat Tax Anytime Soon

That’s the real reason that a flat tax is not likely to pass Congress anytime soon. Not because this tax favors the rich and harms the poor, as progressives argue. The failure to pass a flat tax bill has little to do with its merits. It failed simply because it’s a big change in income taxation.

Any big change will inevitably favor some taxpayers and will disfavor others. And this will bring out the industry-funded nonprofits and the various special interest lobbyists in opposition, who will kill it by threatening to reduce or eliminate their substantial contributions to Congressional election campaigns of Congressional members who fail to vote in the way that special interest groups want them to.

It seems almost inevitable that any other tax substantial tax changes will face similar opposition. Democrats receive campaign contributions from lobbyists, too.


List Of Cons Of A Flat Tax Rate

1. It favors the wealthy.Those who are earning bigger income can enjoy paying less tax, so they end up with more money, further widening the gap between the wealthy and poor.

2. It makes the poor even poorer.In line with the point above, those in the lower class will be burdened even more, especially since there will be no more exemptions and deductions. This results in having less money to spend for necessities and paying debts, making their financial situation even worse.

3. It can shut down the IRS.The Internal Revenue may be some peoples mortal enemy, but remember that a lot of people depend on their IRS jobs to make a living. Implementing a flat tax makes the taxation system simpler and takes away the function of the bureau, ridding its employees of work.

4. It may not be a feasible tax system for the long term.European countries that adopted flat-rate taxation systems, like Estonia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, enjoyed economic growth after implementing a flat tax. However, the progress was usually short lived. Slovakia and the Czech Republic have changed to a progressive tax system. Estonia has kept the flat-rate system, but it has signed up for severe fiscal and monetary austerity since the 2008 economic crash.

With all these in consideration, do you think a flat tax is the simpler, fairer, and more beneficial tax system?

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Why Opponents Of Flat Taxes Hate Them

Jared Bernstein, an economist in the Obama Administration, presents the argument against flat taxes: that they aren’t fair that they don’t simplify the tax code and that flat tax proposals are really only a way of arguing for lower taxes on the rich without admitting that this would be the inevitable result.

Definition And Example Of A Flat Tax System

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A flat tax system requires all taxpayers to remit the same percentage rate, no matter how much they earn. Most flat tax systems exempt those living below the poverty line.

Many U.S. states and several nations use a flat tax system, including Russia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The U.S. federal government uses a progressive income tax system, in which the percentage of taxes owed increases with the income of the taxpayer.

A sales tax is an example of a flat tax. The tax is a fixed percentage of the product or service sold. Rich or poor, everyone pays the same amount. Sales tax laws generally exempt essential goods like food, to reduce the burden on the poorest consumers.

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Pros And Cons Of Flat Tax

Adopting a flat tax can have pros and cons.

The most notable advantage in adopting a flat tax is that all taxpayers know that they will pay taxes according to the same rate.

Countries that have adopted a flat tax on personal income are looking to encourage taxpayers to be more productive and make more money.

Taxpayers know that by making more money, they will have more in their pockets.

Another important advantage is that countries adopting a flat tax system can better manage taxpayer filings and assess files.

Since theres one tax applicable to all taxpayers, processing tax returns will not be as difficult and costly.

However, flat tax can also have drawbacks.

The most important drawback is that those who earn less income will carry a larger tax burden than those who earn more.

In essence, flat tax favors high-income taxpayers as they will pay a smaller percentage of their earnings in taxes than lower-income taxpayers.

Another drawback is that governments that adopt a flat tax tend to generate less revenues as they do not charge high-income taxpayers a higher rate.

The government can create taxpayer dissatisfaction as the only way you can offer tax relief is to lower taxes.

This essentially leads the government to a race to the bottom.

Lets look at a few examples of flat tax to see how it works.

Payroll Taxes:

In the United States, payroll taxes are considered flat tax as all taxpayers are required to pay payroll tax at the same tax rate of 15.3% in total.

Income Taxes:

List Of Cons Of Flat Tax

1. It penalizes low-income earners Low-income earners, well, earn much less than others. The fact that they have to spend on the same necessities are more well-placed folk is also an issue as when necessities expense is taken out of the picture, low-income earners are left with so little for anything else.

In other words, the poor get poorer.

2. It eliminates the IRS This can be taken both ways, actually. With Rand Pauls flat tax proposition, not everyone was in agreement with retaining a small portion of the IRS. On the other hand, if the IRS gets re-adjusted, then some employees would surely lose their jobs. And thats another problem to deal with: unemployment.

3. It benefits the rich Lets go with another example: Person 1 earns $1,000 while Person 2 makes $10,000. They live in a country where a flat tax system is in place and the rate is 10%. Person 1 would only have $900 left after taxation while Person 2 would have $9,000. Can you spot the discrepancy?

Even with taxes at the same rate, well-paid individuals are well, still well paid. Or put simply, the rich still gets richer.

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Advantages And Disadvantages Of Flat Tax

When a flat tax is legislated, each person or entity pays the same rate. This approach penalizes or places an out-sized burden on middle- and low-income families. For instance, after a 20 percent flat tax is imposed, two individuals who earn $1 million and $50,000 respectively, will have an after-tax income of $800,000 and only $40,000. In addition, a flat tax does not result in the wealth redistribution, which can contribute to the attainment of a a certain standard of living for all members of a society.

Also, if a given business activity can be carried out in a country with a lower rate than that of another, the OECD Taxing Wages 2020 report says investors would be unwilling to bear the additional tax burden. Instead, a company would likely consider locating in the location with the lower rate.

Unfortunately, due to the effect of the tax rate on the seeming attractiveness of operating in a certain country, a flat tax is a means for one country to instigate a tax rate war with another country. When this occurs, each nation must decrease their tax rates, sometimes on a repeat basis, to compete. This process can lead to the fiscal instability of one or both countries.

Finally, while a country may adopt a flat tax to contribute to efforts to build a booming economy, no direct relation has been proven to exist between this form of taxation and a growing and resilient economy.


How Is Progressive Tax Different From Flat Tax

Tax Rate Debate

Here we have illustrated the major differences between progressive tax and flat tax. In order that you have a clearer understanding of the points discussed hereafter, let us take a look at a small example. Say, there are three individuals, A, B and C. Consider that A is earning $6000 per month, B is managing $2000 while the monthly income of C is $20,000. Now say, the place where these people live, has a progressive taxation policy, which states that income below $5000 is exempted from tax, income between $5000 to $10,000 will be taxed at 10% and income above $10,000 will be taxed at 12%. So, how much do these people end up paying every month? Yes, youre right! A pays $600, B enjoys total exemption from tax payment and C has to pay $2400. However, if the same people had to pay taxes under a flat tax policy of, say,10%, A, B and C had to pay $600, $200 and $2000 respectively. So, we can see that in the second scenario, B ends up paying tax unlike earlier, while C ends up paying less tax. Now, isnt it unfair that even a person earning less has to pay tax? This is what sparked up the flat tax vs progressive tax debate. So, whats your point of view? Read on as you try to figure it out!

The following table enlists the pros and cons of both progressive tax as well as flat tax. Just have a look!

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Flat Tax Pros And Cons


easy to understand and comply with, thereby reducing errors and tax fraud

may shift tax burden away from the rich, to the middle and lower class

professional tax preparers and advisors no longer needed, saving money for taxpayer

elimination of deductions may have negative impact on taxpayers with lower income

lawmakers can no longer create tax loopholes in exchange for campaign contributions or other personal favors

government cannot use the tax code to encourage desirable activities, such as giving tax credits for making a home more energy-efficient

businesses can make decisions designed to better serve the marketplace and their stockholders, instead of trying to beat the tax code

thousands of government employees and tax professionals would lose their jobs, or suffer a large decrease in business

may encourage investment and expansion, as additional profit is not taxed at a higher rate

effects on government revenue of converting to a flat tax are difficult to predict accurately

Pros And Cons Of A Flat Tax

A flat tax system in the United States by definition refers to taxing household incomes at the same rate regardless of income levels. Advocates of a flat tax system argue that it will simplify U.S. tax codes and eliminate other taxes. Opponents of a flat tax system argue that it only benefits wealthy individuals and would eliminate the IRS, causing wide-spread unemployment. Here are some of the pros and cons of a flat tax system.

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Pros And Cons Of Tax Structures

Flat taxes are appealing because they’re simple: You pay a flat rate, and your tax calculations are done. But as illustrated in the examples above, regressive taxes place more of the tax burden on people with lower incomes many of whom currently pay little or no income tax at all.

For that reason, most “flat tax” proposals are a modified proportional tax. While the details vary from plan to plan, these proposals often:

  • Establish a minimum income threshold under which no taxes are paid
  • Keep some tax credits, such as the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Allow a small number of deductions, such as those for donations to charity or home mortgage interest

For most of us, paying taxes is inevitable. But the impact they have depends on the tax system used and your income.

Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.

List Of The Cons Of A Flat Tax

Pros and Cons for the U.S. of Flat vs. Progressive Taxes

1. It requires low-income earners to bear a greater portion of tax responsibilities. Although a flat tax seems fair from a percentage standpoint, as a 20% tax would be applied to all incomes, a greater share of a low-income households disposable income is affected. At $20,000 per year, a $4,000 tax bill would allow for just $16,000 for expenses. At $200,000, there would be $160,000 available to meet needs. It may incentivize some families to earn more, though not every individual is capable of such an action. And for some ultra-low-income earners, they would start paying taxes when they havent before, which creates an even greater burden on them.

Under a progressive system of taxation, the effective tax rate is what must be considered. Most low-income households that earn $40,000 or less in the U.S. have an effective tax rate around 13%. For a household earning $100,000, the effective tax rate is around 21%. If the proposed 14.5% flat tax is approved, the wealthier households get an effective tax cut, while the poor households get an effective tax increase.

2. It would eliminate multiple layers of government bureaucracy. With a simplified tax system like the flat tax, there would be fewer bureaucratic requirements to review submitted tax returns. As long as the income was verified in some way, the mandated flat tax percentage would need to be calculated from that income to determine if the filing was accurate.

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How Could This Affect My Taxes

As with any aspect of the tax code, the effects of a flat tax on your federal income tax obligation would depend on a number of factors. For example, a 15% flat income tax could provide for a cheaper tax bill for a high-income earner with a marginal tax rate of 22%.

But if youre a low-income earner with a federal tax rate of 10%, a 15% flat tax could increase your federal tax bill.

In addition to your income and effective tax rate under the current progressive system, other variables include exemption amounts, deductions, credits and others. In other words, a flat tax isnt as straightforward as you might think, and it could take a lot of number-crunching to find out how it would affect you personally.

Why Proponents Of Flat Taxes Like Them

Flat Tax proponents argue that they are “more fair,” because everyone’s income is taxed at a single rate. Kelly Phillips Erb, writing in Forbes, notes that flat tax proponents also argue that flat taxes are “simpler,” and that they “completely eliminate the need for the Internal Revenue Service.” Flat taxes are especially popular in the business and investment communities, where it is argued that because income from dividends, capital gains and distributions is untaxed, freeing up money that would have gone to taxes, investments and savings are thereby encouraged.

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Negative Features Of The Flat Tax

Critics argue that instead of being more fair, a flat tax is actually more advantageous to the wealthier members of society. Thats because poor people have much less money left over after paying their taxes than wealthier people do. They claim this makes the flat tax more of a burden on lower income people than the rich. Critics also argue that a progressive tax rate can focus tax rates on those most able to pay, while also targeting tax relief to encourage positive activities such as donating to charity.

Major Flat Tax Pros And Cons

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A flat tax basically refers to a particular income tax oriented system which applies a similar low taxation rate across the financial sectors. This throws light upon the fact that all the individuals are supposed to pay a similar rate irrespective of their source and amount of income.

The success behind this particular concept essentially lies upon the fact that it depends completely upon the proposed taxation rate. This happens because the flat taxes are seen to take up a significant amount of revenue for funding the government sector.

Benefitsof Flat Taxes
Ensures to eliminate all confusions Burden on low-income earners
Reduction in tax preparation expenses Burden on low-income earners
Eliminates governmental layers of bureaucracy
Ensures to encourage economic growth Ignores income resources of the rich
Elimination of self-employment tax
Leads to a decrease in the GDP

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