A Look Back at the Global Certainty of Taxation Across the Centuries
N.Y.L.J., Vol. 265, No. 90, p. 6 (May 11, 2021)
6 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021 Last revised: 13 Jan 2023
Date Written: May 6, 2021
While modern medicine continues to push the boundaries of longevity, if death were ever miraculously vanquished, taxation would nevertheless survive (albeit sans estate and inheritance taxes) – leaving us with only one of the two former certainties.
If Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod’s eye-opening tour of the global history of taxation teaches one overarching lesson, it is that, whatever the society, its rulers will extract a “tax” from the citizenry. The tax stories they relate span from the earliest victors who took payment via the “plunder” of their victims to taxation in the digital age.
Keywords: Taxation, Legal History, IRS, Tax Administration, Tax Legislation, Tax Policy, Economics
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