Australia's Tax System: An Institution in Decay? (Editorial)
(2015) 44(4) Australian Tax Review 207-208
2 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2015
In the previous issue of Australian Tax Review, we noted that readers of the journal are constantly engaging in the conversation on tax reform. This issue continues the conversation and the title for the Editorial borrows from Professor Parsons’ seminal article, “Income Taxation: An Institution in Decay” (1986) 3 Australian Tax Forum 233, where he advocated that without coherence and a claim to fairness, a tax system earns no respect and deserves none. Even though the article was written by Parsons in 1986, it presciently anticipated many of the problems that currently plague our tax system which are amply summed up by Parsons’ conclusion that “the income tax lacks any single underlying principle which is relevant to its function of sharing command over resources between individual and Government, and which can give it coherence and a claim to fairness” (Parsons, “Income Taxation: An Institution in Decay”, above).
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