The Tax After Coronavirus (TACs) project looks at how tax should be reformed to shape the society that people will desire after the coronavirus crisis is over. It seeks to reflect the new awareness of relationships in society that the crisis has created. The series was published on the Tax Research UK blog from April 2020 onwards.
The Tax After Coronavirus (TACs) project has been published as a series of blog posts on the Tax Research UK website since April 2020.
The aim of the project is twofold. First, it explains why the coronavirus crisis does not give rise to a need for tax increases in 2020.
Second, and more importantly, the project explains that despite the fact that overall tax increases are not needed at present the UK does need a radical transformation of its tax system to assist recovery from the coronavirus crisis. This second part of the project explores and explains the ways in which tax can be used to help create transformation in society. It does this by:
- Explaining the role of tax in the economy and society;
- Exploring the ways in which existing UK tax rules do not meet the needs of society;
- Explaining what reforms can help achieve those aims, with an emphasis on what is easiest to achieve quickly, with enough details being supplied to make sure that the ideas can be readily understood;
- Linking the themes together to make a cohesive plan for a new tax system that will help shape society AC (after coronavirus).
Richard Murphy has noted that the inspiration for the series came from J. M. Keynes’ book ‘How to pay for the war’. Keynes said this in the introduction to that book:
“Courage will be forthcoming if the leaders of opinion in all parties will summon out of the fatigue and confusion of war enough lucidity of mind to understand for themselves and to explain to the public what is required; and then propose a plan conceived in a spirit of social justice, a plan which uses a time of general sacrifice, not as an excuse for postponing desirable reforms, but as an opportunity for moving further than we have moved hitherto towards reducing inequalities.”J.M. Keynes, How to Pay for the War, 1940, p. 1.
Richard Murphy added:
The coronavirus crisis is not the same as the war. What it demands of us is different. But it will create fatigue, and confusion, pain and suffering. I suspect no one doubts that now. And out of that we all have to hope that something good will come. A reduction in inequalities is one such good. That reduction in inequalities as a result of a fairer, more effective, better directed and understood tax system is the objective for this project. This does seem to be the time to consider that possibility. This is what the Tax After Coronavirus (TACs) project is all about.
The project has, for convenience been structured into a number of sections, each of which is noted below.
Tax and Society
The posts in this section covered these issues:
- Why we tax – an introduction
- Tax, revenue, money and the role of tax in the economy
- Tax and the value of money
- Tax and redistributing income and wealth
- Tax and repricing goods and services
- Tax and fiscal policy
- Tax and democracy
- Tax and human rights
Tax and Wealth
The posts in this section addressed these issues:
- There is significant room for wealth taxation in the UK
- The UK could tax wealth more
- The relationship between income, wealth and tax
- The TACS approach to wealth taxation
- Reforming taxes on wealth by equalising capital gains and income tax rates
- The need for an investment income surcharge
- Capping total ISA contributions
- Abolishing the personal savings tax allowance
- Restricting pension tax relief
- Abolishing higher rate tax relief on gifts to charity
- Reforming council tax
Other related data includes: