The Tax Man Cometh

It’s almost that time of the year again, as Ken Jennings recently forgot when he lost on Jeopardy. The IRS has published the 2004 tax guide.

In its history of taxation on this side of the pond, the Treasury concludes

the depreciation provision also means that the Federal tax on business has resumed its evolution toward a consumption tax, once again paralleling the trend in individual taxation.

Which brings us to this link from Jeff Darcy to the Bishop of Liverpool‘s article in The Guardian on using resource consumption as a basis for taxation.

Shifting the burden of tax from labour to resource in today’s world would mean that the most successful businesses would be those which deployed labour as creatively and innovatively as possible so as to use the minimum amount of original material in their products.

In other words, the more successful would be service industries, like telecommunications and prostitution, though I think the U. S. Treasury was thinking more of consumption of goods, not resources.