Tax law or revenue law is an area of legal study in which public or sanctioned authorities, such as federal, state and municipal governments (as in the case of the US) use a body of rules and procedures (laws) to assess and collect taxes in a legal context. The rates and merits of the various taxes, imposed by the authorities, are attained via the political process inherent in these bodies of power, and not directly attributable to the actual domain of tax law itself. Tax law is part of public law. It covers the application of existing tax laws on individuals, entities and corporations, in areas where tax revenue is derived or levied, e.g. income tax, estate tax, business tax, employment/payroll tax, property tax, gift tax and exports/imports tax. There have been some arguments that
consumer law Consumer protection is the practice of safeguarding buyers of goods and services, and the public, against unfair practices in the marketplace. Consumer protection measures are often established by law. Such laws are intended to prevent business ...
is a better way to engage in large-scale redistribution than tax law because it does not necessitate legislation and can be more efficient, given the complexities of tax law.

Major issues

Primary taxation issues differ among various countries, although similarities might exist.

Developed Countries

* Taxes can fail to raise sufficient revenue to cover government spending. * Taxes are generally complex and can be viewed as benefitting high income earners more than they do to lower income earners (in the payment of relatively less tax). * Tax evasion and avoidance occur, leading to reduced government revenue. * Taxes can produce poor desired outcomes (lower productivity and provide less incentive for businesses to grow). * Taxes can curb economic growth through inefficiency, e.g. corporate taxes/hurdles that could impede smaller entities to grow. * Taxation can be viewed as disproportionate, as in the case of the taxation of capital gains versus labor income, in which investors generally pay less tax on investment income vs workers who proportionally pay more on their wages. * Taxes can remain questionable in achieving desired goals, such the
Ecotax An environmental tax, ecotax (short for ecological taxation), or green tax is a tax levied on activities which are considered to be harmful to the environment and is intended to promote environmentally friendly activities via economic incentives. ...
which is primarily intended to promote environmentally friendly activities via economic incentives.

Developing Countries

* Taxes in developing economies can be hard to standardize since most workers work in small, and often unregulated enterprises. * Tax systems without sound establishments and competent administration to run and manage them can be burdensome and inefficient. * Tax systems without reliable data are hard to regulate and change. * Tax systems tend to have the rich bear a heavier burden of taxation.



Tax law education is a specialisation of accountants, tax agents, and lawyers. Accountants are required by either CPA Australia to complete a course in law of taxation and law of financial services. There is a legal obligation to complete taxation law and commercial law for registration as a tax agent with the Tax Practitioner's Board. Law students are not typically required to complete a unit in tax law, but may opt to take it as an elective in Australian universities.

Pertaining to the US


* completion of a bachelor's degree - students contemplating tax law might have to consider majoring in economics, accounting or finance. * sitting for Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Law School

* in law school, the students take foundational courses from "constitutional law to civil procedures." * at this level, law students can take more specialized courses in taxation, such as "limited partnerships and income taxes, business liquidations and acquisitions." * Upon completion, the law students graduate with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree—which is sufficient for admission to an LL.M. in Taxation.

Post Law School

* JD graduates may then enroll in a Master of Laws in Taxation (LL.M.), a one-year program. Other concentrations available to students include: estate planning or business taxation. * The Bar exam.

Pertaining to other countries

Post Law School

* JD graduates enroll in a Master of Laws (LL.M) program, as is seen in Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands.

=General Requirements

= * A bachelor's degree - required for entry into law school. * Law School Admission Test (LSAT) - Required for law school admission in United States, Canada and a growing number of countries. J.D. (Juris Doctor) or First degree in law. * The Juris Doctor (JD) program is offered by only a number of countries. These include: United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Philippines, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The courses vary in duration of years, curriculum and whether or not further training is required, depending on which country the program is in.

= In Africa

= Most African countries use the British legal education curriculum in their law educational system to train lawyers. Overall, legal education, across African countries, starts at the university level as an undergraduate course although a few universities have promulgated a law degree as a graduate program "akin to hat… in the United States, Canada, and India." In most African countries, a law degree does not necessarily qualify one to practice as a lawyer. Further post-graduate practical training is required. Graduates earn an undergraduate law degree, viz. the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.), via a four-year program (as in Malawi, Kenya, Zambia, and most of South African law universities). Subsequently, graduates with the
Bachelor of Laws Bachelor of Laws ( la, Legum Baccalaureus; LL.B.) is an undergraduate law degree in the United Kingdom and most common law jurisdictions. Bachelor of Laws is also the name of the law degree awarded by universities in the People's Republic of C ...
seek to earn the Master of Laws or greater in order to become practitioners of the law. Some law institutions offer tracks to a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.), a Doctor of Philosophy degree (Ph.D.), or a Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D.) with emphasis on tax law. A list of tax faculty ranked by publication downloads is maintained by Paul Caron at TaxProf Blog.

Taxation by jurisdiction

;Africa * Taxation in South Africa * Taxation in Tanzania ;Americas * Taxation in Argentina * Taxation in Canada * Taxation in Colombia *
Taxation in the British Virgin Islands Taxation in the British Virgin Islands is relatively simple by comparative standards; photocopies of all of the tax laws of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) would together amount to about 200 pages of paper. Among the items in the British Virgi ...
* Taxation in Peru *
Taxation in the United States The United States of America has separate federal, state, and local governments with taxes imposed at each of these levels. Taxes are levied on income, payroll, property, sales, capital gains, dividends, imports, estates and gifts, as well as ...
;Asia * Taxation in China(* Taxation in the People's Republic of China) * Taxation in India *
Taxation in Iran Taxation in Iran is levied and collected by the Iranian National Tax Administration under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Government of Iran. In 2008, about 55% of the government's budget came from oil and natural gas reve ...
* Taxation in the Palestinian territories ;Europe * Taxation in the European Union * Taxation in Azerbaijan * Taxation in Bulgaria * Taxation in France * Taxation in Germany * Taxation in the Republic of Ireland * Taxation in the Netherlands * Taxation in Poland * Taxation in Portugal * Taxation in Russia * Taxes in Spain * Taxation in the United Kingdom ;Oceania * Taxation in Australia *
Taxation in New Zealand Taxes in New Zealand are collected at a national level by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on behalf of the Government of New Zealand. National taxes are levied on personal and business income, and on the supply of goods and services. Capit ...

See also

* Corporate law * Corporate tax


{{DEFAULTSORT:Tax Law Public law Taxation-related lists