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Tax Tyranny

Pascal Salin

Tax Tyranny does not aim to give a description of existing tax systems, rather it provides readers with the intellectual instruments which enable them to understand the role of taxation in the workings of economic systems and to evaluate the fairness of taxes.
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Chapter 4: Immoral and harmful: inheritance taxes

Pascal Salin


Inheritance taxes are immoral because they constitute an attack on legitimate property rights. One characteristic of human beings is the fact that they are able to make decisions about activities beyond their own life (for instance, saving resources during their life in order to help their children or charitable institutions after their death). There is no justification for not respecting property rights under the pretext that the owner of a capital died. Inheritance taxes are harmful because they are a specific case of capital taxation (which has been criticized in Chapter 3), but also because they have progressive rates in most countries, which is not justified (as was explained in Chapter 2). Inheritance taxes should be suppressed (as has been achieved in several countries in recent years).

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