April 5, 2006

When the Little Guy Helped the Wealthy Keep Their Tax Secret

Cynthia Crossen:
The problem came to light during a Senate investigation of the 1929 stock-market crash: Some of America's wealthiest citizens, including the banker J.P. Morgan and his partners, were legally paying nothing in federal income taxes.

The solution, endorsed by majorities of both parties in Congress: Make individuals' income-tax information public, and shame the evaders into paying their fair share.

Under the Revenue Act of 1934, anyone who filed a federal tax return would also complete another -- pink -- form, with his or her name, address, income, deductions and total taxes paid. Everything on the pink slips was public information, available to reporters, nosy neighbors or former spouses alike.
Posted by James Zellmer at April 5, 2006 10:18 PM | Subscribe to this site via RSS:
Posted to Politics | Taxes