The Case for Taxing Away Unsustainable Profits

53 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2021 Last revised: 23 May 2022

See all articles by Allison Christians

Allison Christians

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Tarcísio Diniz Magalhães

University of Antwerp Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 24, 2021

Abstract

When businesses offload environmental and social costs on the public, their profits are windfalls extracted from current and future taxpayers. Traditional regulatory and tax remedies have failed to eliminate this profiteering. To prevent some from receiving windfalls while everyone else bears the cost, unsustainable profits should be taxed away. A novel way to do so is emerging with the development of advanced tools for measuring environmental and social damage. Mobilized through the income tax, these tools could be used to design a cutting-edge windfall tax on unsustainable profits. This Article makes the normative and practical case for doing so.

See the elevator pitch for the initial idea for this paper in Tax Papers Unlocked by Break Into Tax here: https://youtu.be/1ei-C4wYBvw.

Keywords: taxation, life-cycle assessment, environmental externalities, economic rent, windfalls, cost savings, carbon pricing, pandemic, COVID-19

JEL Classification: D63, D78, E62, F23, F42, H20, H25, H87, K33, K34, O19, O34, O38

Suggested Citation

Christians, Allison and Diniz Magalhães, Tarcísio, The Case for Taxing Away Unsustainable Profits (March 24, 2021). George Washington Law Review (forthcoming 2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3811709 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3811709

Allison Christians

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

Tarcísio Diniz Magalhães (Contact Author)

University of Antwerp Faculty of Law ( email )

Stadscampus, Venusstraat 23, Office S.V.255
Antwerp, 2000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uantwerpen.be/en/staff/tarcisio-diniz-magalhaes/

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