February 2000

ANOTHER MILLENNIUM OF TAXES?

In this month's special feature, James A. Woehlke, NYSSCPA counsel and technical services director and CPA Journal technical editor (taxes), addresses income tax alternatives presented at the Global Institute for Taxation's first conference, "Taxation Alternatives for the 21st Century."

An impressive number of highly creative proposals were presented at the conference, several of which tap into societal trends, such as environmentalism and technology, that may continue to gain momentum in the next century. By reducing or eliminating certain subsidies and taxing consumption of natural resources rather than personal income, "green shift" proposals focus on the impact taxation could have on the environment while at the same time raising the revenue needed to operate government. The debit tax, the withdrawals tax, and the automated payment tax propose to tax transactions rather than income.

At the end of the 20th century, taxes on income are reality. However, as the proponents of eco-taxation and cyber-taxation join the discussion, life without income tax might be closer than ever. *



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