Abstract This paper evaluates the extent to which a DSGE model can account for the impact of tax policy shocks. We estimate the response of macroeconomic aggregates to anticipated and unanticipated tax shocks in the US and find that unanticipated tax cuts have persistent expansionary effects on output, consumption, investment and hours worked. Anticipated tax cuts give rise to contractions in output, investment and hours worked prior to their implementation, while stimulating the economy when implemented. We show that a DSGE model can account quite successfully for these findings. The main features of the model are adjustment costs, consumption durables, variable capacity utilization and habit formation.