The Political Economy of Tax Return Privacy -- RevisitedState Tax Notes (1995)
In 1993, Robert P. Strauss published an article in the State Tax Notes describing research he did for the Massachusetts Business Tax Study Commission. Strauss’ article was critical of public disclosure of corporate income tax information.
This article outlines disagreements with Strauss’ views, and argues in favor of public disclosure. The article first discusses debate over a public disclosure law in Massachusetts, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Next, the article discusses which companies should be subject to public disclosure. The article advocates not only that publicly traded companies be subject to such requirements, but also some large privately held corporations. The article further disagrees with Strauss’ statutory interpretation of a provision of the Internal Revenue Code regarding public disclosure. Finally, the article addresses and debunks arguments that disclosure would harm a state’s business climate; knowledge of past data will not unfairly aid competitors not subject to public disclosure. The article concludes by advocating for a more open government via state corporate tax disclosure.
Publication DateJune 12, 1995
Citation InformationRichard D. Pomp, The Political Economy of Tax Return Privacy -- Revisited, 8 State Tax Notes 2389 (1995).