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Legislating Principles as a Remedy for Tax Complexity


Graeme S. Cooper


The University of Sydney Law School

December 14, 2010

British Tax Review, No. 4, pp. 334-360, 2010
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/141

Abstract:     
This article considers the recent experiment in the “principles-based drafting” of tax legislation in the UK, in the light of the experience in Australia during the last 8 years. The article examines the genesis of this experiment in the tax re-writing projects that started in the 1990s, the metes and bounds of the notion of “principles-based drafting,” the allure it holds for policy-makers and some of its implications for taxpayers, revenue administrators, tax policy-makers and judges. Two examples of “principles-based drafting” that have been enacted in the Australian tax legislation are examined in detail, confirming some of the predicted difficulties. The article considers whether the experiment is proving successful and whether the initial enthusiasm for the practice will continue.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 28

Keywords: tax, legislative drafting, principles based drafting

JEL Classification: K10, K22, K30, K34, H20, H24, H25, H26


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Date posted: December 15, 2010 ; Last revised: December 8, 2011

Suggested Citation

Cooper, Graeme S., Legislating Principles as a Remedy for Tax Complexity (December 14, 2010). British Tax Review, No. 4, pp. 334-360, 2010; Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/141. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1724998

Contact Information

Graeme S. Cooper (Contact Author)
The University of Sydney Law School ( email )
New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia

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