JPIL Vol 7 Issue 1 2016 - Article 1

THE MISSING HEGELIAN REVIVAL IN TAX JURISPRUDENCE
 
Bret N. Bogenschneider
 
Abstract
In this Article G.W.F. Hegel´s Philosophy of Right is applied directly to tax jurisprudence. The duty to pay tax is identified as one aspect of Ethical Life (Sittlichkeit). A counterintuitive aspect of Sittlichkeit is that it may entail freely willing the opportunity to pay tax to the State. The Hegelian theory of retributive punishment upon a violation of Abstract Right is also examined in the context of tax crimes. A few problems with the application of Hegelian theory to tax law are also examined including: (i) indeterminacy of law; (ii) sublation as method; (iii) the potential for immoral ethics; and (iv) taxation as interference with property rights (qua Libertarianism). Several policy recommendations are developed from the perspective of Hegelian theory including the idea of celebrating large tax remittances to the modern State.

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