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The processes through which tax law is formulated, involve more than the formal legislative and judicial processes which result in statute and case law. Tax law is an expression of tax policy, which is subjective and a heterogeneous product of states, cultures and politics.
Regarding taxation as a branch of either black letter law or orthodox economics ignore, or even deny, this subjectivity. This book explores the complex dynamics of the debates which inform tax policy, the interaction between tax and power and how power relations between various groups in society and between individuals and the state are manifested through tax system. This helps to explain why the rules, procedures and practices are all formulated to suit their interests of the most powerful groups in society.
Taxation is a powerful lens through which to analyse relationships between individuals and the state, since history has shown that there is a longstanding power relationship between rulers and subjects, which is articulated through tax regimes.
Tax can therefore be seen as a technology which mediates such tensions and relationships and the way that choices are made and conflicts are resolved can give valuable insights into societal power relationships.