Tax justice positive 5: Simplicity in taxation legislation

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Tax justice means being in favour of simplicity in taxation legislation. This requires that:

a. Tax legislation is purposive;
b. The interpretation of taxation law is undertaken on equitable principles;
c. A general anti-avoidance principle is in operation;
d. Pre-transaction rulings are available (although not necessarily without charge).

Being in favour of simplicity in taxation legislation means that we are opposed to complex tax legislation. Complex tax legislation involves:

a. Use of a legal basis of interpretation of tax law, so encouraging the abuse of rules;
b. Using the literal meaning of words as the basis of taxation law, even though that meaning changes over time;
c. The use of detailed anti-avoidance rules that result in ever escalating loopholes;
d. The failure to recognise context as signify cant in the interpretation of taxation law;
e. Recognition of the legal form of a contract as the only issue that matters in determining its validity for taxation purposes;
f. Blocking the use of equitable interpretation in taxation matters.