This book originated from a conference held in Milan in April 2009. That conference addressed the issue of what lessons for tax policy could be drawn from the financial crisis. The papers presented at the conference examined whether tax arrangements in many countries and across jurisdictions may have influenced decision making and been a causal element in the crisis. The general conclusion from these papers was that the tax system had on balance played a minor role in triggering the crisis but that the crisis had served to underscore a number of weaknesses in existing tax systems. Since then the debate has focused on a number of other issues, many of which relate to the use of tax policy to address the problems in financial markets resulting from the crisis. This book attempts to provide a broad overview of these many disparate issues. This introduction summarizes the main themes that are raised in this book and highlights why the issue of how best to tax the financial sector will remain high on the agenda of future tax policy debates.
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