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Benefits Theories of Tax Fairness

Lindsay, Ira K (2019) Benefits Theories of Tax Fairness In: Studies in the History of Tax Law. Hart Publishing, Oxford, United Kingdom, pp. 93-122. ISBN 978-1-50992-493-6

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Abstract

The benefits theory of tax fairness was the dominant approach to tax justice until the late nineteenth century. This paper examines the reasons for the rejection of the benefits principle in the nineteenth century and the evolution of benefits theory in the twentieth century in response to this criticism. It uses this historical inquiry as a launching point for re-evaluation of the prospects for benefits theory. Benefits taxation has a number of advantages. As an ethical claim, it appeals to intuitive principles of fair cooperation. As a rule of procedural justice, it tends to protect against oppressive tax schemes. Although benefits theory has the resources to respond to some of the most historically influential criticisms, it faces additional challenges. These include specifying the baseline against which benefits are to be measured and fair treatment of taxpayers who take a public-spirited view of government spending as opposed to those who are mainly concerned with their private advantages.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Law
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Lindsay, Ira Ki.lindsay@surrey.ac.uk
Editors :
NameEmailORCID
Harris, Peter
de Cogan, Dominic
Date : 19 September 2019
DOI : 10.5040/9781509924967.ch-004
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright © 2019. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 30 Sep 2019 14:51
Last Modified : 05 May 2020 19:09
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/852840

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