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The return of windfall taxation

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Windfall taxes are not new to the world, but they have assumed a variety of shapes and formats under different names in each country and period. Sometimes, they are designed to be applied on a one-time or temporary basis while, at other times, they coexist with classic forms of income taxation. Sometimes they are imposed on actual profits or net earnings while, at other times, they use alternative tax bases. In one way or another, imposing surtaxes on windfall-like gains has been repeatedly legitimized by society's frustration that well-positioned individuals and firms retain unearned, excessive financial rewards, especially under distorted market or regulatory conditions. With the current global energy and food prices crises, windfall taxes have once again risen to broad popularity. This article examines the historic, economic, and policy rationales for windfall taxation, arguing that lawmakers could use the accumulated experience of the past to go beyond attempts to tax current crisis-driven high returns to ultimately build corporate tax systems that are more progressive.
Journal: Intertax : European tax review
ISSN: 0165-2826
Volume: 51
Pages: 722 - 731
Publication year:2023
Keywords:A1 Journal article