The Impact of Liberal Reforms (17th -19th cc.) on Tax Regulation (article in Lithuanian)

Gediminas Užubalis


Tax legislation is criticized for being too complicated, bureaucratic and technical. ‘Functional’ approach to tax law is the key to explain and legitimise the whole taxation, which is divided into number of different taxes, but operates as one facility of society. The article is purported to reveal the way that tax legislation discharges the main purposes of the State, being set by the society. The research is focused on liberal reforms that changed Europe and Northern America in the late 18th c. and 19th c. as backgrounds for liberal state, predecessor of social state, and their impact on tax regulation. The first clause briefly describes the essentials of liberal reforms, their intellectual backgrounds relating to taxation. Three main directions of tax regulation in the liberal sate are named: universality of taxation (formal equality), replacement of personal loyalty with ‘professional’ state, restriction of sovereign powers. Other clauses deal with the named directions. Tax privileges of Ancien regime are given as one of the reasons for the liberal reforms, and, as a consequence, liberal reforms targeted at privileges of Ancien regime. Tax reforms sought for universality and uniformity. The French Revolution was followed by fiscal centralisation processes throughout Europe. Universalization processes were felt hardly on direct taxation. Direct taxation was mostly associated with capitation taxes and taille, infamous of its Ancien regime privileges and arbitrariness.


liberal reforms; state; direct taxes; indirect taxes; tax structure; personal liberty; universality; limited state

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236