Getting a Poor Return

Courts, Justice, and Taxes

Robert M. Howard
eISBN-13: 9781438428901

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Public policy often favors one group over another. In the case of tax policy, the conventional wisdom has been that the dominant political coalition will offer policies that favor their primary constituents. The longstanding belief has been that the disfavored group may always assert their rights in court, the expectation being, as Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote, that "all citizens are equal before the law." In this revealing and insightful study, Robert M. Howard demonstrates that long-cherished beliefs such as equality before the law are more wishful thinking than reality. Courts, he argues, differ little from national policy makers in their approach to tax policy and tax enforcement. Examining the tax litigation process, particularly the influence and impact of competing courts, Howard discovers that fairness before the law may be a laudable goal, but the appointment process ensures that tax policy and tax enforcement rulings by the courts reflect the perspectives of the dominant political coalition.

ISBNs 9781438428895, 1438428901, 9781438428901
Language English