November 08 2023 | Papers

The Next Business Tax Regime: What Comes After the TCJA

Eric Zwick, Owen Zidar

This essay presents the case for a better US business tax regime. First, we provide an overview of the business tax base in the United States and describe how business activity is taxed, with special focus on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). We then review early evidence of the TCJA’s effects on economic activity and compare these effects to policymakers’ predictions. We conclude by considering policy implications and make several recommendations for improving the US business tax regime. We propose a future regime that can raise substantial revenue from business without inventing new policy instruments. Our proposal would preserve productive business activity, promote efficiency by harmonizing tax rates across income tax bases, and improve tax progressivity.

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Executive Summary