Taxes on beards, bachelors, wigs and windows.
As outlandish as these might sound, these taxes did exist at one point and were discussed recently by Robin Oliver Tax Policy Scholarships visiting lecturer and Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business Joel Slemrod at a luncheon with a group of leading New Zealand tax professionals in Auckland.
The event, which was held at the Northern Club, was organised by the Tax Policy Scholarship Committee (TPSC).
Mr Slemrod – who was dubbed ‘The Rolling Stones’ of the tax world – talked about how farfetched taxes of the past provided lessons for tax policy today, especially how tax policy settings can drive certain behaviours.
The idea of his presentation was to highlight how the basic principles of taxation are hard to see when people are familiar with taxes or they are distracted by political rhetoric.
Attendees found his presentation to be entertaining and informative.
Mr Slemrod also spoke at Wellington’s Victoria University and the IFA Conference in Queenstown, and met with officials from Inland Revenue, Treasury and the minsters of finance and revenue during his visit to New Zealand.
About the TPSC
The TPSC was established by TMNZ and its founder director Ian Kuperus to encourage future tax policy leaders and support leading tax policy thinking in New Zealand.
The trust sponsors a leading international tax policy thinker to visit New Zealand to engage in debate and discussion, and a New Zealand tax professional to undertake research and study overseas.