Freedman on tax breaks

Posted by Christie Malry on July 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

Some fabulous prose from our greatest living tax academic, Judith Freedman. Ritchie, watch and learn. This is from a publication the Smith Institute put out while it wasn't being Gordon Brown's poodle.  And she's writing about the problem for giving tax breaks to encourage social outcomes.

In this way, the prize for behaving “well” is often seen to be a reduction in taxation. This sits uneasily with the idea that tax is the fair price to be paid for participating in a civilised society. Further, the creation of an environment in which tax is associated with tax planning and there is active encouragement to take tax considerations into account when making everyday decisions tends to reduce the stigma that might otherwise attach to the use of artificial constructions entered into for tax purposes, since it appears to the taxpayer to be a normal part of the way our rather incomprehensible tax system operates.

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