- (taxation) Increased taxation that arises when an inflation adjustment to a wage or salary pushes a taxpayer into a higher tax bracket (or, in a progressive taxation regime, further into a bracket).
1985, C. Eugene Steuerle, Taxes, Loans, and Inflation: How the Nation's Wealth Becomes Misallocated, page 34:
- The corporate tax is essentially a flat-rate tax; thus there is no bracket creep.
- 1990, John B. Shoven, Joel Waldfogel, Debt, Taxes, and Corporate Restructuring, page 27,
- Bracket creep, however, was occurring only among individuals, not corporations. All other things being equal, this bracket creep increased the extent to which borrowing would be undertaken by individuals, not corporations.
- 2001, Frederick C. v N. Fourie, How to Think and Reason in Macroeconomics, 2nd edition, page 290,
- Bracket creep can be avoided by regularly adjusting tax brackets for inflation, so that the tax brackets remain unchanged in real terms.
Since only rises that adjust for inflation are considered, not those from increased skills or changed job description, this means that a worker doing the same work for the same notional purchasing power is taxed at a higher rate.