Today’s Law, Society, And Taxation Panels

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Today’s Law, Society, and Taxation panels at the virtual 2022 Law & Society Association Annual Meeting:

Session #1:  Critical Tax Theory  (Alice Abreu (Temple), Chair/Discussant):
The nominal application of tax rules to the taxpayers affected by them is often at odds with the affects of those rules in practice. In addition, the priorities and experiences of the actors participating in the drafting, interpreting, and enforcing of tax rules can impact the way those rules are created or operate. The papers on this panel employ a variety of approaches to think about the tax law in the real world, both in the lived experiences of those subject to the rules, and in the intentions of those who create and enforce the rules.

Session #2:  Optimal Taxation (Neil Buchanan (Florida; Google Scholar), Chair/Discussant):
At the heart of many discussions of tax policy is a question of whether the tax law achieves the right end, for all people affected by it, and how best to design the tax to achieve the desired ends. The papers in this session tackle these essential, and difficult, questions from a variety of angles, contemplating theories of tax and tax policy design. While each paper contemplates a different aspect of tax system design, the papers in this session are concerned with asking about both the theoretical justifications and the effects of particular tax decisions.

  • Manoj Viswanathan (UC Hastings; Google Scholar), Retheorizing Progressive Taxation
  • Anna-Maria Anderwald (Graz), Does the Consumption Orientation of our Tax Systems Mean the End of the Ability-to-pay Principle and is the Equivalence Principle Experiencing a Renaissance?
  • Ilinza Maree (Pretoria), A Social Impact Matrix for Tax Policy in the Brewing Industry in Africa
  • Jennifer Bird-Pollan (Kentucky; Google Scholar), What Can We Learn About Taxes From Pandemic Relief Benefits?

Session #3: Tax and Time: On Use and Misuse of Legal Imagination (Bridget Crawford (Pace; Google Scholar), Chair):
Can tax laws be deployed to create a more just an equitable society? Anthony Infanti answers with a resounding “yes” in his new book, Tax and Time: On Use and Misuse of Legal Imagination. He argues that the way a country collects and spends its revenue is a quantifiable reflection of how a country sees itself. The tax laws send messages about both what a society values now and what it aspires to be in the future. Through concrete examples, Infanti shows how tax laws have been used to imaginatively manipulate time in ways that perpetuate economic and social injustice. Writing squarely within the critical tax tradition, Infanti assets that the power of the legal imagination to manipulate time in tax law can both correct past injustices and help us to envision—and actually work toward—a better and more just society.

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