Putting the ‘finance’ into public finance: How should capital gains be taxed?

Organiser: Research School of Economics at the Australian National University (ANU)

Speaker: Professor Florian Scheuer (University of Zurich)

Date and time: Tuesday 28 May, 2–4pm (AEST)

Venue: Copland Theatre, HW Arndt Building 25A, Kingsley Street, Acton

How should capital gains driven by asset price movements be taxed? While growing literature has documented the role of asset prices for the dynamics of wealth inequality, their normative implications are not well understood.

In this lecture, Florian will introduce asset prices into a model of capital taxation and show that the optimal tax base—notably, whether unrealised or only realised gains should be taxed—depends on the sources of valuation changes. Specifically, he’ll show that whenever asset prices are not exclusively driven by dividend changes, taxes must condition on realised trades, and elaborate on how this result stands in contrast to the classic Haig-Simons comprehensive income-tax concept, as well as recent proposals for wealth or accrual-based capital gains taxes.

Register here


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