How Much Tax Do The Rich Really Pay And Could They Pay More? [Audio]
Published June 15, 2020
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65 min
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    Speaker(s): Dr Arun Advani, Emma Agyemang, Ed Conway, Helen Miller, Andy Summers | With tax rises now almost surely on the horizon, the question will be who should pay. The rich, it is often claimed, already contribute a large share of tax revenues; there's not much scope for them to pay more. For example, the top 1% already pay 29% of all income tax. But is this because they pay a lot of their income in tax, or just because they have a lot of income? Researchers from LSE and Warwick will present new findings using confidential tax data to reveal the taxes actually paid by the UK's top 1%. They explore the gap between headline tax rates and the rates that the richest really pay, taking into account income from all sources as well as deductions and tax reliefs. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion of the implications for taxing the rich after coronavirus. How much revenue could be raised from the top 1%? What are the alternatives and trade-offs involved? Is it fair to ask the rich to pay more at a time of national crisis? When is the right time to raise taxes on the rich, and how? Arun Advani (@arunadvaniecon) is Assistant Professor of Economics and Impact Director of the CAGE Research Centre at the University of Warwick. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and a Visiting Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute. He studies issues of tax compliance and tax design, with a particular focus on those with high incomes or wealth. Emma Agyemang (@EmmaAgyemang) is a journalist at the Financial Times covering tax, investment and personal finance issues. She joined the Financial Times in 2018 after previously working as a personal finance writer at the Investors Chronicle. In 2019, Emma won Business Journalist of the Year at the Words by Women award for her coverage of the "loan charge", a government crackdown on tax avoidance that was implicated in several suicides. Before becoming a journalist, Emma spent a decade working in diverse organisations from archives, museums and think tanks to local government and charities. Helen Miller (@HelenMiller_IFS) is Deputy Director of the IFS and head of the Tax sector. She is chair of the Royal Economic Society’s Communications Committee. Her main research interests are the effects of the tax system on individuals and firms behaviour and the design of tax policy. Her recent research also includes work on the drivers of firm investment and the UK productivity puzzle. Andy Summers (@Summers_AD) is an Assistant Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and an Associate of the International Inequalities Institute at LSE. His teaching and research focuses on tax law and policy, particularly the taxation of wealth. His work also investigates the measurement of inequality using tax data. Ed Conway (@EdConwaySky) is economics editor at Sky News, covering major UK and international economics, business and political stories. He has broken a series of exclusive reports on the banking and financial crisis. He is also economics columnist for The Times, and has been one of the longest-running economics editors in UK journalism, having started covering the sector in 2003. Mike Savage (@MikeSav47032563) is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, where he is also Director of the International Inequalities Institute, one of the world’s premier centres for research and teaching focusing on the contemporary challenge of inequality. The International Inequalities Institute (@LSEInequalities) at LSE brings together experts from many LSE departments and centres to lead cutting-edge research focused on understanding why inequalities are escalating in numerous arenas across the world, and to develop critical tools to address these challenges. Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEWealth
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