Tax Weapons in the COVID-19 War: A Preliminary Study of Brazil, Canada, Denmark, UK and US

Belt and Road Initiative Tax Journal 1(1) 2020

Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper

9 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2020

See all articles by Jinyan Li

Jinyan Li

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Nathan Jin Bao

Osgoode Hall Law School

Sean Shanghua Hu

Independent

Matias Zerbino

York University, Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: April 29, 2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic is killing hundreds of thousands of people and crippling businesses worldwide. There is no medical cure or vaccine yet. To prevent COVID-19 from crushing the health care system, non-essential activities have been paused and people are asked to stay home and keep “social distancing” in order to slow down the spread of the virus. Between 37 and 40 percent of jobs in the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK) and Sweden can plausibly be performed entirely at home, but most workers cannot continue working. Such pause means no income for workers and no revenues for businesses while necessity expenditures continue rising. To fight the COVID-19 “war” through pausing the economy, governments have resorted to tax policy instruments as well as fiscal and monetary instruments to support workers and businesses during the pause period.

In this paper, we canvass the tax policy weaponry in the context of overall COVID-19 relief measures in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, the UK and US. These countries represent different contexts and approaches to fighting against the common invisible “enemy” — COVID-19. Our goal is to see how tax measures are used, whether there is much similarity among the selected countries, and what the likely implications for the long term are. We make some general observations about the possible changes for the post-COVID-19 tax system.

Suggested Citation

Li, Jinyan and Bao, Nathan Jin and Hu, Sean Shanghua and Zerbino, Matias, Tax Weapons in the COVID-19 War: A Preliminary Study of Brazil, Canada, Denmark, UK and US (April 29, 2020). Belt and Road Initiative Tax Journal 1(1) 2020, Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3670802

Jinyan Li (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
416-736-5025 (Phone)

Nathan Jin Bao

Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Sean Shanghua Hu

Independent

Matias Zerbino

York University, Osgoode Hall Law School

North York, Ontario
Canada

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