Philosophical Foundations of Tax Law
Chapter 9: The Philosophical Foundations of Wealth Transfer Taxation
One role of taxation in contemporary society is the expression of that society’ s beliefs about distributive justice. This chapter argues that this most effectively done by using a wealth transfer tax. The continued existence of wealth transfer tax systems, despite the relatively small amount of tax raised by such systems in comparison with the total size of most national budgets, speaks to important philosophical beliefs about fairness and equality and the way such forms of tax can help a society achieve those distributive justice goals. This chapter examines a variety of political philosophical views that are commonly held in contemporary societies and then how wealth transfer taxation (versus, for example, estate and inheritance taxes) helps to achieve the goals of most of those philosophical perspectives. It concludes that the taxation of wealth transfers achieves desirable ends when examined from most commonly held political philosophical perspectives, and therefore should be included in any robust system of taxation.
Oxford University Press
taxation, distributive justice, wealth transfer tax
Law | Tax Law
Bird-Pollan, Jennifer and Bhandari,, Monica Editor, "Philosophical Foundations of Tax Law" (2017). Law Faculty Books and Chapters. 36.