On Tax Justice

Taxes and taxation involve people's resources. Peoples' movements and citizens groups should be concerned about this issue and the questions of who should be taxed, how taxation should be done, and how revenues from taxes should be spent.

  1. The state's right to tax goes hand in hand with the state's obligations to protect and uphold the rights of its citizens, promote equity and justice, provide for essential services and, be transparent and democratic in formulation and implementation of budget, spending and policies.

    The neglect, non-fulfilment and violation of these obligations results in the erosion of the legitimacy of the state. And a state or government whose legitimacy has been eroded also loses its peoples' support and thus will be unable to compel people to pay taxes no matter how progressive its tax structure may be.

  2. Taxes should promote equity and redistributive justice. Thus, it is fundamental that it be designed and implemented in an equitable and just manner. Those who have more (income & assets) should give more. Those who have the same level of income should also be taxed in the same level.

    Regressive taxes policies are those which do not account for differences in economic capacities and involve a comparatively heavier burden on low income classes and sectors. Taxation should not be an additional burden to those who do not earn enough or those who earn just enough to meet their basic needs and live a decent and humane life.

  3. Taxation is a means to raise revenues for the state to fulfil its obligations. Its ability to meet these obligations is affected by its capacity to raise revenues. It is vital that the state effectively and efficiently enforce tax policies that are just and progressive together with other programs and policies that strengthen the domestic economy. Governments must move away from reliance on borrowings and depending on aid.

  4. The raising of revenues however should be accompanied by transparent and participatory budget processes and a spending policy aimed at realizing social and environmental justice and people-centered development.

  5. Taxes should not be used to violate rights, undermine people's development and national sovereignty and cause harm to the environment.

Initial List of General Demands

  • Ending intervention and impositions by International Financial Institutions on national tax policies

  • Equitable and Progressive Tax System: Tax Relief for impoverished sectors; Gender Justice in Taxation

  • Compelling the rich to pay more; Reducing the regressivity of the indirect tax system; Gender justice in taxation

  • Ending preferential treatment to foreign investors and tax policies that promote neoliberal policies such as trade and investments liberalization, privatization and deregulation

  • Equitable and revenue efficient land and real property tax scheme that promotes agrarian reform, rural development, food sovereignty

  • Tax Incentives to promote social and environmental justice; Tax Disincentives to penalize social and environmental abuses

  • Ending massive tax evasion and avoidance by elite families, private corporations, multinational companies and other foreign investors;