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Abstract

The 1980s have been a period of dramatic change for the income tax code in the United States. Although numerous modifications were considered in policy deliberations, two key goals, the reduction of the importance of tax considerations in investment decisions and tax simplification, emerged from the discussion and guided drafting of the 1986 Tax Reform Act. This study examines the importance of tax considerations in investment decisions under the provisions of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and its predecessor, the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. The study then compares the tax liability under these tax codes with a nondistortionary tax scheme. Results indicate that the Tax Reform Act of 1986 reduced the distortionary effects of the tax code on capital investment decisions. However, a large portion of the reduction can be attributed to the change in the average tax rate.

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