[IMGCAP(1)]Tax rules continuously change, but the specific tax matter here is not what’s important. What is important is the process.

In the 1970s the tax law provided for a penalty for certain family corporations retaining “excess” earnings and not paying dividends. For the record the individual tax rate on dividends then was 70 percent, so forcing the payment of dividends would give the government that much more tax—on some level you can say that it almost was a confiscatory tax.

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