Expanding the Study of Comparative Tax Law to Promote Democratic Policy: The Example of the Move to Capital Gains Taxation in Post-Apartheid South Africa

25 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2005  

William B. Barker

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law

Abstract

This research advances a new method of comparative tax law analysis. The paper suggests that comparative analysis must proceed by studying the ideological purpose behind law and legislation, the manner in which legislation tries to achieve these goals, and the manner in which law's interpreters help or hinder the realization of these goals. It develops a stratagem to guide this analysis that focuses the study on certain defining elements in an income tax system that must be critically studied to determine the system's true potential for equal treatment and distributive justice or their opposite. It looks to the example of South Africa, a country which is redefining itself through taxation as a democratic nation. On the basis of this comparison, one can see how the normative approach to comparative law uncovers law's potential for promoting economic equality through taxation.

Keywords: Tax, comparative law, comparative tax law, capital gains, economic equality

JEL Classification: A13, K00, K34

Suggested Citation

Barker, William B., Expanding the Study of Comparative Tax Law to Promote Democratic Policy: The Example of the Move to Capital Gains Taxation in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Penn State Law Review, Vol. 109, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=698402

William B. Barker (Contact Author)

Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson Law ( email )

150 South College Street
Carlisle, PA 17013
United States

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