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Farming the Tax Code: The Impact of High Marginal Tax Rates on Agricultural Tax Shelters

James E. Long
American Journal of Agricultural Economics
Vol. 72, No. 1 (Feb., 1990), pp. 1-12
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1243140
Page Count: 12
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Farming the Tax Code: The Impact of High Marginal Tax Rates on Agricultural Tax Shelters
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Abstract

Surprisingly little scholarly work has examined the practice of "farming the tax code," in which accounting losses on agricultural investments are used to shelter other income from taxation. Economic theory suggests that the amount of investment in agricultural tax shelters is positively related to the marginal tax rate. This hypothesis is empirically investigated using a sample of federal individual income tax returns filed for 1983. Both the probability of reporting a farm tax loss and the amount of farm losses are increased by a rise in the marginal tax rate, especially among upper income taxpayers.

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