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Senior Capstone 2021

Tax Policy & Systemic Racism

Abstract: This paper demonstrates the ways in which the economic and social fabric of American society makes it more difficult for Black and Hispanic Americans to take advantage of tax breaks surrounding homeownership, college education, and retirement savings, which simultaneously are the primary drivers of wealth accumulation for most Americans. The findings indicate that barriers to wealth accumulation for Black and Hispanic Americans are deeply embedded in the U.S. tax code and perpetuate the growth of the racial wealth gap. Furthermore, government regulation provides the initial basis for this inequity and its effects compound over time. The discussion concludes with policy suggestions aimed at reducing current inequities, such as requiring the IRS to collect and publish tax policy statistics based on race, overhauling regressive tax policies, and investing these revenues in improving economic opportunity and reducing racial disparities.

Emma (she/her) is a combined economics and business student, concentrating in accounting. She is also enrolled in the Master of Science in Accounting program at Northeastern and will complete her MSA degree in August of this year. Upon graduation she will start full-time in assurance at PwC in New York.