This paper outlines the origins of tax expenditure analysis in the 1960s, the key debates at that time and over subsequent decades, and the current state of tax expenditure analysis. The paper suggests that the pros and cons of tax expenditure analysis were comprehensively worked through within a short time of the concept being proposed. These debates have since been rehashed periodically, with little of real or lasting value being added. While there is broad agreement that some form of reporting of tax expenditures is needed, prospects for future meaningful development of the underlying tax expenditures concept appear limited.
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