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Taxation of capital gains and horizontal equity: a review of the Australian perception


This paper addresses the question of whether the enactment of the Australian regime of income tax on capital gains (the CGT regime) was actuated by a perception that that regime will satisfy horizontal equity. This paper answers that question in the affirmative. It does so based on an analysis of the history of taxation of capital gains in Australia. To enable that analysis, this paper sets out an overview of the history of taxation of capital gains in Australia, and (to set the context for that overview) also sets out a comprehensive discussion of what constitutes capital gains and what constitutes horizontal equity. At the end of this paper, a proper practical standard for identifying micro-level outcomes resulting from the detailed workings of the CGT regime where horizontal equity is violated (despite the perception that that regime should satisfy horizontal equity) is identified, as are directions for future relevant research.

Author profile

Maheswaran SRIDARAN
Maheswaran, of Krochmalik & Hurwitz Pty Limited (Chartered Accountants), is a doctoral student at the Division of Law, Macquarie University, Sydney.
Current at 1 October 2004 - Current at 19 November 2004
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