Comprehensive versus Neutral Income Taxation

  • Wolfram F. Richter
Conference paper


The income definition that has undoubtedly received most support from German and American tax theorists is the Schanz-Haig-Simons concept of demanding comprehensiveness (cf. Goode, 1977, p. 7). The idea is that all income should be taxed alike, irrespective of the source. If at all other income concepts are considered, then the discussion typically narrows down to ail act of choice between competing tax bases. Thus, Goode’s otherwise commendable survey of income concepts ends with “the conclusion that the S-H-S definition of income is much better for tax purposes than other definitions” (Goode, 1977, p. 28). It is not that conceptual and administrative problems were played down or even denied, it is that other concepts such as the Hicksian (1939, 1968) economic yield of capital, axe seen as posing even more problems.


Income Taxation Interest Income Real Investment Neutrality Objective Life Annuity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Apel, R. (1938): “Gerechte Besteuerung von Leibrenten.” Neumanns Zeitschrift für Versicherungswesen: 692–693 and 807–808.Google Scholar
  2. Bamberg, G., and Richter, W. F. (1987): “Risk-Taking under Progressive Taxation: Three Partial Effects.” Forthcoming in Measurement in Economics: Theory and Application of Economic Indices, edited by W. Eichhorn et al. Heidelberg: Physica.Google Scholar
  3. Bernheim, B. D.; Shleifer, A.; and Summers, L. H. (1985): “The Strategic Bequest Motive.” Journal of Political Economy 93: 1045–1076.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradford, D. F. (1981): “Issues in the Design of Savings and Investment Incentives.” In Depreciation, Inüation, and the Taxation of Income from Capital, edited by C. R. Hulten. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, pp. 13–47.Google Scholar
  5. Diamond, P. A. (1975): “Inflation and the Comprehensive Tax Base.” Journal of Public Economics 4: 227–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fane, G. (1987): “Neutral Taxation under Uncertainty.” Journal of Public Economics 33: 95–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goode, R. (1977): “The Economic Definition of Income.” In Comprehensive Income Taxation, edited by J. A. Pechman. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, pp. 1–30.Google Scholar
  8. Hicks, J. R. ( 1939, 1968): Value and Capital. 2nd ed., Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  9. Johansson, S.-E. (1961): Skatt-investering-värdering. Stockholm: Företagsekonomiska Forskningsinstitutet. (Appendix in English. )Google Scholar
  10. Johansson, S.-E. (1969): “Income Taxes and Investment Decisions.” Swedish Journal of Economics 71: 104–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kovenock, D. J., and Rothschild, M. (1983): “Capital Gains Taxation in an Economy with an ‘Austrian Sector’.” Journal of Public Economics 21: 215–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lindahl, E. (1933): “The Concept of Income.” In Economic Essays in Honour of Gustav Cassel. London, pp. 399–407. (Reprinted in Readings in the Concept and Measurement of Income, edited by R. H. Parker and G. C. Harcourt. Cambridge etc.: Cambridge University Press, 1969, pp. 54–62.)Google Scholar
  13. McDaniel, P. R., and Surrey, S. S. (eds.) (1985): International Aspects of Tax Expenditures: A Comparative Study. Deventer: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  14. Mitschke, J. (1976): Über die Eignung von Einkommen, Konsum und Vermögen als Bemessungsgrundlagen der direkten Besteuerung. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot.Google Scholar
  15. Neumark, F. (1947): Theorie und Praxis der modernen Einkommenshesteuerung. Bern: Francke.Google Scholar
  16. Richter, W. F. (1986): “Das Johansson-Samuelson-Theorem bewertungsneutraler Abschreibung langlebiger Wirtschaftsgüter bei Einkommensbesteuerung.” Finanzarchiv N.F. 44: 435–449.Google Scholar
  17. Richter, W. F. (1987): “Neutrale Ertragsanteilsbesteuerung von Renten.” To appear in Deutsche Rentenversicherung.Google Scholar
  18. Samuelson, P. A. (1936/37): “Some Aspects of the Pure Theory of Capital.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 51: 469–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Samuelson, P. A. (1964): “Tax Deductibility of Economic Depreciation to Insure In-variant Valuations.” Journal of Political Economy 72: 604–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Schneider, D. ( 1970, 1980): Investition und Finanzierung. 5th Edition, Wiesbaden: Gabler.Google Scholar
  21. Seidl, C. (1985): “Effizienz und Steuerreform: Umfassende Einkommensteuer oder Konsumsteuer?” Das öffentliche Haushaltswesen in Österreich: 180–197.Google Scholar
  22. Sunley, E. M., Jr. (1977): “Employee Benefits and Transfer Payments.” In Comprehensive Income Taxation, edited by J. A. Pechman. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, pp. 75–106.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfram F. Richter
    • 1
  1. 1.DortmundWest Germany

Personalised recommendations