The paper examines the debate on tax reform that took place in Italy immediately after world war II and lasted up to the early 70’s, when finally a comprehensive tax reform was approved, with special reference to business and capital income taxation. The leading actor in the debate was Cesare Cosciani who proposed a reform inspired to a comprehensive income tax model integrated by a general, proportional, light wealth tax. Finally a more conservative approach prevailed mainly favored by Bruno Visentini. The paper highlights that most of the problems of the Italian tax system up to the latest decisions (2014) originate from the missed reception of the proposal put forward by Cosciani since 1947. The paper highlights, moreover, the difficulty of keeping together the recommendations of good economic theory and the interests underlying actual political decisions on tax matters.
Keywords: Tax reform, capital taxation, business taxation.
Jel Code: H20, H24, H25, N00