Keywords: income tax, capital gains tax, macro-level policy, horizontal equity violation, Australia
What reasons could (in theory) cause the CGT regime to produce micro-level outcomes that fail to satisfy horizontal equity?
This paper addresses the question of what reasons could (in theory) cause the Australian regime of income tax on capital gains ('the CGT regime') to produce micro-level outcomes that fail to satisfy the macro-level policy objective of horizontal equity. In answering that question, this paper argues that any of the four reasons (and only one of those four reasons and no other) can (in theory) cause the CGT regime to potentially produce micro-level outcomes that violate horizontal equity. Those four reasons are described in this paper. That description is followed by the articulation of an argument that the most practicable means to address those four reasons is through a 'consequentialist' approach to interpreting the legislative provisions imposing CGT, buttressed by legislative directives to the Australian judiciary and other measures necessary for making such a consequentialist approach practicable.