The features that should be found in a well-designed tax system and have been known since Adam Smith’s maxims appeared in Volume 2 of The Wealth of Nations in 1776. A well-designed tax system should have the following features:
- taxes should be imposed at the lowest rate possible
- the tax system should be as simple as possible
- citizens should know the structure and the level of tax facing them
- taxes should not be discriminatory between citizens
- arbitrary windfall taxes and retrospective tax changes are economically damaging
In Restructuring the UK Tax System: Some Dynamic Considerations, author David B. Smith shows how the current UK tax system is in violation of all these basic maxims, damaging economic growth and wasting valuable resource. The paper advocates the lowering and simplification of taxes, arguing that it would bring growth and restore liberty.
2011, Discussion Paper 35