Reference Work


Daniel Halliday, John Thrasher

International Encyclopedia of Ethics | John Wiley & Sons | Published : 2020


This entry focuses on the topic of a just tax base. This is the question of what kind of activities or entities ought to be taxed and to what extent. Familiar tax bases include exchanges such as income, inheritance, consumption, as well as stocks of wealth like real estate. The entry first distinguishes the tax base question from other questions of tax justice. It then surveys some arguments against the standard approach of making income a major component of the tax base. We focus especially on the difficulties of delineating the set of activities that count as income for the purposes of taxation, followed by concerns about privacy. Later parts of the entry explore a distinction between inst..

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