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Adam Smith & UK Income Taxation - Essay Example

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1) pointed out that Adam Smith advanced the view that a good tax system can be defined based on the extent that the system can realize four key principles: equity, certainty, convenience and efficiency. In the words of Adam Smith himself, there are four “maxims…
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Adam Smith & UK Income Taxation
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Download file to see previous pages 42). According to Smith, the first maxim is that “the subjects of every state ought to contribute toward the support of government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities, that is in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state” (Smith 1784, p. 639). According to Smith, “observation or neglect of this maxim consists in what is called the equality or inequality of taxation” (Smith 1786, p. 639).
For Smith, the second maxim is that “the tax which each individual is bound to pay ought to be certain, and not arbitrary” (1784, p. 639). For Smith, this means that “the time of payment, the manner of payment, the quantity to be paid, ought all to be clear and plain to the contributor, and to every other persons” (1784, p. 639). For Smith, the second maxim is necessary because “otherwise, every person subject to the tax is put more or less in the power of the tax-gathered, who can either aggravate the tax upon any obnoxious contributor, or extort, by the terror of such aggravation, some present or perquisite to himself” (1784, p. 639-640). Smith emphasized that uncertainty of taxation “encourages insolence and favours the corruption of an order of men who are naturally unpopular, even where they are neither insolent nor corrupt” (1784, p. 640).
The third tax maxim of Adam Smith is that “every tax ought to be levied at the time, or in the manner, in which is it most likely or most likely to be convenient for the contributor to pay it” (1784, p. 640). Finally, Smith’s fourth maxim on taxes is that “every tax ought to be contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the state” (1784, p. 640).
On the fourth maxim, Smith also noted four things. One, the tax levy may require a great number of officers whose salaries may eat the greater portion ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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