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Thoughts on Australian company tax reform

Introduction. One of the important constraints on tax reform in Australia is widespread ignorance about notions of tax incidence. A mistaken theory of tax incidence – the “flypaper theory” – suggests that taxes impact on those groups that they are directly levied on. So, payroll taxes and superannuation levies fall on the companies they are […]

Company tax basics

The discussion of company tax and firms that don’t pay it often seems to me to be confused. Company tax is a tax on profits, on income earned after costs. These profits could be distributed as dividends to shareholders or held in firms as retained earnings and eventually paid out as dividends. When they are […]

Consensus on tax reform

The consensus on tax reform that is emerging (see e.g. AFR today, editorial, paywalled) is a continuation of the tax reform trends that have been around for at least two decades. The basic idea is to swap the tax mix around so that there are fewer adverse effects on working, saving, investing and taking risks. […]

Tax reform economics

I am interested that the two dominant ideas in tax economic theory over the last 40 years seem to diminish or downplay the case for redistributive taxes.

First, there are the strong arguments on income taxes from James Mirrlees (1971), and a plethora of followers, which places a premium on relatively flat income tax schedules […]