In a modern society no individual can exist in isolation without amenities such as health, food, income, employment, education etc. Further corporations, companies and other similar units cannot co-exist peacefully unless governmental regulatory framework and administration of State governs them. Tax levies which are the major source of revenue generation, is the principal method by which this responsibility of State can be met. Along with this, taxes also serve a utilitarian welfare purpose which considers tax policy as an important instrument of social reform and social betterment. (Smith & Mill). John Rawls (1971) in Theory of Justice discusses that government through tax levies, plays a substantial role in maintaining and correcting the system of economic institutions and prevent unacceptable levels of inequalities and wide disparities of income and wealth. However, this has been strongly criticized by Robert Nozik (1974) who condemns the role of a nation state in distribution of income and wealth for the well-being of every-one. Nozick says that a tax on labor is equivalent to a forced labor and it would be unjust to force a person to work for the benefit of another. This calls for a theoretical justification as to whether taxes are just or unjust. This paper seeks to make an inquiry into to the philosophical justification of different types of taxes with special reference to recently implemented Goods and Services Tax in India.The paper would also give a reflection on the sharp contrast between the thoughts of John Rawls and Robert Nozick on the taxes serving as an institution of Justice.
Cite this article:
Preetika Sharma. Tax Being just or Unjust: A Study of Taxation As an Institution of Justice. nt. J. Rev. and Res. Social Sci. 2019; 7(2):359-364. doi: 10.5958/2454-2687.2019.00027.3