Tax System Design and the Instructive Case of Hong Kong

33 Pages Posted: 21 May 2014

See all articles by Michael Littlewood

Michael Littlewood

University of Auckland - Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 15, 2010

Abstract

Hong Kong’s tax system is one of the world’s most successful. This article looks at what might be learned from it. The main lessons are (1) that it is possible to structure a combination of very light taxes and very low public spending so that it enjoys very broad public support; (2) that it is possible for a developed jurisdiction’s tax legislation to be simple (say 200 pages); (3) that a flat-rate personal consumption tax (similar to that proposed by Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka) is feasible; and (4) that the convenience of most countries’ collection mechanisms (notably PAYE) may come at a much higher cost than is usually supposed.

Suggested Citation

Littlewood, Michael, Tax System Design and the Instructive Case of Hong Kong (December 15, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1726172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1726172

Michael Littlewood (Contact Author)

University of Auckland - Faculty of Law ( email )

Private Bag 92019
Auckland Mail Centre
Auckland, 1142
New Zealand

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