Neither cows nor businesses pay tax

August 16, 2011 4:48 PM

Who pays tax? The question isn’t as silly as it might first sound. A quote from the EconLog reproduced at Café Hayek drives the point home:

I remember that in addressing the issue in the 1980s, the late Herb Stein said that it’s as if people think that if the government imposed a tax on cows, the tax would be paid by the cows.




[caption id="attachment_39760" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Not a taxpayer"][/caption]Those who read the 2020 Tax Commission’s Briefing Note on Corporation Tax will be familiar with the concept. Its author, Anthony J Evans, wrote:

Corporations are legal fictions – in the same way that your television doesn’t pay the license fee, and your house doesn’t pay stamp duty, companies cannot ever pay tax, people do.


 

[caption id="attachment_39761" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Also not taxpayers"][/caption]Who pays tax? The question isn’t as silly as it might first sound. A quote from the EconLog reproduced at Café Hayek drives the point home:

I remember that in addressing the issue in the 1980s, the late Herb Stein said that it’s as if people think that if the government imposed a tax on cows, the tax would be paid by the cows.




[caption id="attachment_39760" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Not a taxpayer"][/caption]Those who read the 2020 Tax Commission’s Briefing Note on Corporation Tax will be familiar with the concept. Its author, Anthony J Evans, wrote:

Corporations are legal fictions – in the same way that your television doesn’t pay the license fee, and your house doesn’t pay stamp duty, companies cannot ever pay tax, people do.


 

[caption id="attachment_39761" align="aligncenter" width="450" caption="Also not taxpayers"][/caption]

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