Since the enactment of the income tax provisions of the Tariff Act of October 3, 1913 forty years have elapsed within which we have seen a profound change in the revenue system of our federal government, the growth of a great new branch of public law, the development of a highly specialized field of legal practice and the publication in legal periodicals of innumerable articles on the subject of taxation. Tax men can, with great pride, point out that technical proficiency has done an amazing job of keeping pace with the rapid expansion of the system from the utilization of the latest punch card accounting machines by the Internal Revenue Service to an orderly procedure for the hearing of thousands of taxpayers' protests before a tribunal which did not exist prior to 1924, to the creation of professional journals dealing exclusively with taxation. There is no reason to believe that technological progress will falter in the next decade regardless of the course federal taxation may take. The course it will take is the real matter of concern and is in large measure controlled by the perspective of those individuals who formulate tax policies, the members of the congressional committees, the judges, the policy makers within the Treasury Department, and the experts who influence those officials, the accountants, the economists, and the members of the tax bar. It is with the subject of perspective that this article is concerned, and the thesis of the following comments is that the perspective must be sweeping; that those individuals concerned. with tax policy should consciously acknowledge that taxation is an integral part of the legal and economic fabric of the country and that changes in tax policy must be correlated with changes in basic economic and legal philosophy.
J. W. Riehm,
FEDERAL TAXATION: PERSPECTIVE DURING THE FIFTH DECADE,
Mich. L. Rev.
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