Policy Forum: The Case for an Annual Net Wealth Tax
Canadian Tax Journal/Revue fiscale canadienne, 2020, Vol. 68, No. 3, p. 835-850
16 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2020
Date Written: October 28, 2020
The public and policy makers are showing a renewed interest in wealth taxes as a possible response to the problem of wealth inequality. This article describes the recent trend of rising wealth inequality, and the factors contributing to it, in developed countries, including Canada. The authors argue that an annual wealth tax could and should counter the trend, and that such a tax is both justifiable on economic grounds and technically feasible. They assert that the taxation of capital income does not adequately address the largely tax-free accumulation of large fortunes, and that an annual wealth tax is preferable to property taxes, which exclude the taxation of financial assets and are levied on gross rather than net wealth. The article responds in detail to major criticisms of an annual tax on wealth, arguing that such a tax is needed to achieve a more equal distribution of wealth while raising additional revenues.
Keywords: wealth taxes, inequality, tax policy, tax reform, capital taxes, economic growth
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation