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Religious Giving as a Guide to the Principles of Good Taxation

17 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2013  

Robert Wolf

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse - Finance Department

Date Written: March 16, 2012

Abstract

The principles of good taxation are a set of guiding values necessary for any responsible state to consider in constructing their tax policy. The principles are derived from various philosophical and economic discussions including but not limited to the role of the state, ownership of natural resources, the optimal size of the state, the emphasis on individual versus community rights, and what is reasonable. Adam Smith (1776) initiated the discussion on the principles of good taxation including equality, certainty, convenience and economy. Others have expanded and articulated the principles to include reasonable and neutral. Curran (2001), Hamill (2006), and others have considered the principles of good taxation from a religious viewpoint. Along different lines, Croteau (2005) develops the principles of giving for a religious institution. As religious institutions rely on giving in a similar manner that states rely on taxes, it is useful to review the principles of good taxation in comparison to the principles of giving. This research finds strong consistency between the principles of good taxation and the principles of giving. Additionally, the principles of giving make a strong argument for elevating the importance of effective allocation of tax revenues as a principle of tax collections.

Keywords: tax, religion, tax policy, optimal taxation, horizontal equity, Nozick, Adam Smith

JEL Classification: D31, D63, E6, H2, K34, M4

Suggested Citation

Wolf, Robert, Religious Giving as a Guide to the Principles of Good Taxation (March 16, 2012). Journal of Accounting, Ethics and Public Policy, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2025231

Robert Wolf (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse - Finance Department ( email )

1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
United States

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