Expanding the Study of Comparative Tax Law to Promote Democratic Policy: The Example of the Move to Capital Gains Taxation in Post-Apartheid South Africa
William B. Barker
Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law
Penn State Law Review, Vol. 109, 2005
This research advances a new method of comparative tax law analysis. The paper suggests that comparative analysis must proceed by studying the ideological purpose behind law and legislation, the manner in which legislation tries to achieve these goals, and the manner in which law's interpreters help or hinder the realization of these goals. It develops a stratagem to guide this analysis that focuses the study on certain defining elements in an income tax system that must be critically studied to determine the system's true potential for equal treatment and distributive justice or their opposite. It looks to the example of South Africa, a country which is redefining itself through taxation as a democratic nation. On the basis of this comparison, one can see how the normative approach to comparative law uncovers law's potential for promoting economic equality through taxation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Tax, comparative law, comparative tax law, capital gains, economic equality
JEL Classification: A13, K00, K34
Date posted: April 20, 2005
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