What the tutor said:The essay question is about how we tax wealth. You need to consider what is meant by wealth. You will need to define it for the purposes of your essay. The main taxes on wealth, and these you will look at later in the module, are capital gains tax and inheritance tax. But wealth is also taxed through taxes on property such as Council tax (we don’t look at this tax on the module). These taxes are different from the taxes on income (income tax and national insurance contributions) and those on spending (e.g., value added tax and excise duties). There is an on-going debate in the UK – and in other countries – about whether we should introduce an annual tax on wealth, a tax that would be very different from the current taxes. (You are supposed to focus on these taxes with underlines and discuss the whole UK tax system critically)

Requirements:
1. It must contain numerical calculations (either in the main body or a supporting appendix).
(e.g., the way that dividends are taxed) as well as learning some more about the circumstances in which increases in wealth are taxed through capital gains tax and certain transfers of wealth taxed through inheritance tax. Moreover, you are required to support your analysis in the pre-seen essay question with calculations
2. Looked at what philosophers and others have said about what constitutes a good tax or good tax system and started to consider what we think makes a good tax system- you need to reflect on the role and purpose of tax and the characteristics of a good tax system. (Please go through week2 lecture slides which I send to you)
3. Considered some of the limitations that exist in the tax design process, including the way in which EU law acts/acted as a limitation and what may happen following BREXIT and Covid-19. (Please go through week3 lecture slides which I send to you)
4. The IFS Green Budget document is over 400 pages in length. You are not expected to read it all, but you should use it as a source of reference and background information as part of the research for your pre-seen essay question in the January exam. The Budget document will provide context – it can help you understand the position in which the UK currently finds itself and may generate some ideas – but the extent to which you use it and cite it will be a matter of individual judgement(I put all relevant material together within a file sent to you)
5. It requires you to conduct some independent research to identify the arguments that are being made for wealth tax reform – including the introduction of new wealth taxes – across the world. Your pre-seen essay question concerns the UK but insights from other countries can nevertheless inform your thinking, provide ideas and influence the lines of research that you pursue with respect to the UK.
some of the proposals for the reform of wealth taxation, including the introduction of new taxes on wealth, that have been made in the USA, New Zealand and South Africa:
https://elizabethwarren.com/plans/ultra-millionaire-tax
https://www.greens.org.nz/progressive_tax_reform

How a possible wealth tax in South Africa could work

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