Automated Payment Transaction tax
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The Automated Payment Transaction (APT) tax is a proposal to replace all United States taxes with a single tax (using a low rate) on every transaction in the economy. The system was developed by University of Wisconsin–Madison Professor of Economics Dr. Edgar L. Feige.
The foundations of the APT tax proposal—a small, uniform tax on all economic transactions—involve simplification, base broadening, reductions in marginal tax rates, the elimination of tax and information returns and the automatic collection of tax revenues at the payment source. The APT approach would extend the tax base from income, consumption and wealth to all transactions. Proponents regard it as a revenue neutral transactions tax, whose tax base is primarily made up of financial transactions. The APT tax extends the tax reform ideas of John Maynard Keynes, James Tobin and Lawrence Summers, to their logical conclusion, namely to tax the broadest possible tax base at the lowest possible tax rate. The goal to significantly improve economic efficiency, enhance stability in financial markets, and reduce to a minimum the costs of tax administration (assessment, collection,and compliance costs). There is disagreement over whether the tax is progressive, with the debate primarily centered on whether the volume of taxed transactions rise disproportionately with a person's income and net worth. Simulations of the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances  demonstrate that high income and wealthy individuals undertake a disproportionate volume of transactions since they own a disproportionate share of financial assets that have relatively high turnover rates. However, since the APT tax has not yet been adopted, some argue that one can not predict whether the tax will be progressive or not.
Daniel Akst, writing in the New York Times, wrote "the Automated Payment Transaction tax offers fairness, simplicity, and efficiency. It may not be a free lunch. But it sure smells better than the one we eat now." On April 28, 2005, the APT proposal was presented to the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform in Washington, DC.
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- Automated Payment Transaction Tax plan website
- The Transaction Tax official website at thetransactiontax.org
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