Income Tax Winners and Losers: The Recession in Focus

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Martin, James
Ockree, Kanalis
Washburn University. School of Business
Kaw Valley Bank
Issue Date
January 2012
Alternative Title
From the first predictions of a recession to the end of the recovery period, economists furrow their brows and pour over reams of recession-related statistics. Reports on employment, GDP, retail sales, inflation and more get examined from every angle in attempts to create predictions and cause and affect relationships for recessions. Specific accounting data and the accountants that produce it get almost totally ignored and/or relegated to deep background in the analysis process, even though the accountant operates in the central role of gathering, recording, and communicating data/information which in turn gets incorporated into most economic analysis. The accountant's role in the dissection of an economic recession can be as important and enlightening as that of an economist while providing, perhaps, more practical insight. The data collected from the work of the more specialized tax accountant in recession analysis, while even further from the analytical spotlight, can be presumed to be equally enlightening. While fulfilling tax compliance and consulting duties, the tax accountant witnesses firsthand the effects of the recession on individuals and business entities. However important he financial/tax accountant's role might be, the potential insights of this group are largely ignored except as part of an economist's big picture presentation. Herein we present a wealth of data and a preliminary analysis gleaned from the data as drawn [from] U.S. income tax records.