The costs of a wealth tax

Bill Dodwell asks whether the UK should have a wealth tax, and if so how it should go about it

Two academics and a barrister (Dr Arun Advani, Emma Chamberlain and Dr Andy Summers) – together called the Wealth Tax Commission – have published a report on a possible wealth tax for the UK (see www.wealthtaxcommission.uk).  Their work has been supported by a wide range of other, mainly academic, contributors. Their website contains a wide range of background papers, which are well worth reading.

What is a wealth tax? 

A wealth tax is a tax levied by reference to an individual’s assets, net of any debt. Unlike a capital gains tax or a gift tax, it is not levied on an event (a disposal or a receipt) but is levied on a one-off or annual basis by reference to the value of an individual’s net assets on a defined day.