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Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law$
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Reuven Avi-Yonah, Nicola Sartori, and Omri Marian

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321357

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321357.001.0001

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Taxable Income

Taxable Income

Chapter:
(p.17) 2 Taxable Income
Source:
Global Perspectives on Income Taxation Law
Author(s):

Avi-Yonah Reuven

Nicola Sartori (Contributor Webpage)

Omri Marian

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321357.003.0002

This chapter addresses the starting point of any study on income tax: the definition of income as the base of the tax (the subject matter on which the tax is imposed). First, it discusses the two main concepts of taxable income, the source concept and the accretion concept, and the two main methods countries use to define the tax base, the exclusion (a “global” definition of income) or the inclusion (a “scheduler” definition). The chapter then reviews some of the major problems of defining income in the US income tax system and juxtaposes US solutions against those used by other countries. Finally, it discusses the idea of the realization requirement, which has been described as the “Achilles' heel” of income tax.

Keywords:   income tax, source concept, accretion concept, tax base, US income tax system

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