Trust and Tax Principles: A Dutch Case Study
29 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 14, 2019
In addition to the procedural fairness of tax authorities, the legislative level is also of utmost importance for the degree of trust of citizens in taxation. This trust is grounded in the perception of the fairness and justice of the tax law and as such is closely related to the quality of this legislation. Legal principles, the normative core of a value-oriented conception of (tax) law, function as essential criteria of this quality of tax legislation. Trust in taxation thus requires the tax legislator to respect the three core principles of tax legislation – equality, certainty and clarity – as these principles reflect basic societal values. The lack of sufficient respect of the legislator for these principles have been found to influence the extent to which tax legislation is perceived as (un)fair by citizens. After having described these generally accepted principles of good tax law, the importance of these principles for the trust in tax legislation will subsequently be illustrated by testing the legislative quality of the current rules for taxing capital income. This article concludes with a plea to legislators for enhancing the respect for the underlying principles of law to warrant citizens trust in taxation.
Keywords: tax, trust, legal principles, legal fictions, tax legislation, fairness
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