• Write-Off: The Tax Blog

    Do Billionaires Move to Avoid Wealth Taxes? What Does the “Evidence” Say?

    Washington State has proposed a tax on billionaires equal to 1% of their non-tangible financial assets. Most of the revenue generated from this tax would come from four individuals that live in Washington, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, MacKenzie Scott and Steve Ballmer. So, what if these folks just leave Washington? One CNBC article I was reading cited the Washington State representative, Noel Frame, as stating that “The idea that they will just pick up and leave is a cynical view and it’s not supported by evidence.” The evidence provided in the news article is from a research paper from the American Sociological Review about income taxes on high earners. Is that the only paper that looks at this issue, and, what does that paper actually find? What is the actual "evidence"?
January 31, 2021

What do we know about CbC Reporting?


Recent News & Media

Hoopes Adds Perspective to Cryptocurrency Investing

February 12, 2021

UNC Tax Center Research Director, Jeff Hoopes, was quoted in a recent Forbes article on the topic of cryptocurrency. He shares insight into minimizing tax burdens created by investing in the virtual currencies. More

Coming Up

Tax Symposium

Friday March 26, 2021

Bringing together accountants, economists, and lawyers from academe, practice and government who share a common interest in tax research. More


TCJA Effects Tracker

The 283 Days of Stock Returns after the 2016 Election

November 10, 2020

Conventional wisdom suggests that the promise of tax legislation played an important and positive role in the 25% increase in the stock market that began on November 9, 2016 and continued through December 22, 2017 (the day TCJA was signed into law). Our comprehensive and exhaustive forensic analysis confirms its positive effect. With that said, we find that its net impact is relatively modest. To come to this conclusion, we first construct a novel daily human-based attribution by carefully reading the news on each of the 283 days. This exercise shows the 52 days in which tax-related news was important make up less than 1% of the total observed return. We attribute large gains to tax-related news immediately after the election as well as the build-up to passage in late 2017. However, key events in the summer of 2017 decreased the prospects for tax legislation, which wiped out most of the gains that we attributed to tax policy over the full sample. This "up, down, and up again" narrative is corroborated across a wide-range of alternative approaches, including (1) a machine-driven textual analysis based on over 1,500 possible specifications, (2) a novel probability measure tied to the passage of tax legislation constructed from prediction markets, (3) the relative performance of high tax firms compared to low tax firms, (4) a daily attribution based on firm-level regressions, and (5) several macroeconomic financial indicators. The relatively modest estimated effects are consistent with the market potentially being more driven by strong global growth, changes in other policies, a weaker dollar (which coincided with a reduction in the likelihood of passage of tax legislation), and numerous below-expectations inflation prints (keeping monetary policy at bay) that fortuitously occurred over this time period. More