Public Finance in the Era of the COVID-19 Crisis
18-20 August 2021 | Online, Organized by University of Iceland, Reykjavík
Overview and details of the sessions of this online conference.
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Some information on the session logistics:The last speaker of each session is the session chair. The discussant is always the following speaker, with the first speaker being the discussant of the last paper. Each paper has a 22-minutes-block in all sessions. There should be 15 minutes and no more than 18 minutes for the presenter. The discussion is then started by the discussant. Please note that the role of the discussant is different compared to previous years: The discussant has only 1-2 minutes and s/he is not allowed to give a lengthy summary of the paper together with comprehensive comments. Instead, her/his task is to raise one single question/comment and, in doing so, start the general discussion! All participants are asked to be strict in timing to allow people to change sessions during the general discussion. For a (rare) session with less papers in the session than the time slot allows, stick to the congress schedule and use 22 minutes per presentation to allow listeners to smoothly change between sessions. Only registered participants can attend this online conference. Further information available on the congress website https://iipf2021.hi.is/ .
Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 5th Dec 2021, 05:57:13pm GMT
G07: Panel discussion: Learning from Tax History
Economists have not paid as much attention to tax history as have law and other disciplines. In this session MIchael Keen (IMF) and Joel Slemrod (University of Michigan), Chantal Stebbings (University of Exeter) and Steven Bank (UCLA) will draw on their work in the area to argue that tax history is a fertile and rewarding topic.
Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages
University of Michigan, United States of America
Governments have always struggled to tax in ways that are effective and tolerably fair. Sometimes they fail grotesquely, as when, in 1898, the British ignited a rebellion in Sierra Leone by imposing a tax on huts―and, in repressing it, ended up burning the very huts they intended to tax. Sometimes they succeed astonishingly, as when, in eighteenth-century Britain, a cut in the tax on tea massively increased revenue. In this entertaining book, two leading authorities on taxation, In this book, we provide a fascinating and informative tour through these and many other episodes in tax history, both preposterous and dramatic―from the plundering described by Herodotus and an Incan tax payable in lice to the (misremembered) Boston Tea Party and the scandals of the Panama Papers. Along the way, readers meet a colorful cast of tax rascals, and even a few tax heroes.
Taxing Luxuries in Eighteenth-Century Britain: Old Perceptions and Modern Influences
University of Exeter, United Kingdom
This presentation examines the nature of the luxury taxes which lay at the heart of British fiscal orthodoxy in the eighteenth century. They used the range of available imposts, including the indirect duties of customs, excise and stamps, and the direct establishment taxes. (...) These taxes might be thought to be mere historical curiosities, but this presentation demonstrates that they are important in two principal ways. First, they reveal the values which legislators and taxpayers recognised as essential to effective and sustainable taxation; and secondly, they were of material significance in the introduction and shaping of an income tax, which came to dominate direct taxation in the following century and beyond. In that, they explain certain defining features of modern tax law.
The Creation of an Expense Account Society
UCLA School of Law, United States of America
Almost immediately after lockdowns were announced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump called for restoring the deduction for business meal and entertainment expenses that had been removed in 2017. Perhaps imagining that it would result in a return to the post-World War II era when lavish spending was common, Trump hoped it would rescue a sinking restaurant industry. In a sense, he was right to connect tax with business meals and entertainment. Expense accounts, and the industry that evolved to support it, were a creature of the high post-war tax rates that persisted through the 1950s and beyond. Understanding the rise of this phenomenon, and the forces that conspired to defeat President John F. Kennedy proposal to eliminate deductions for meals and entertainment, helps to explain how inextricably linked tax is with business spending on meals and entertainment and how it became entrenched in American society.
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