Definition - Tax Law
Area of Law: Tax Law

Tax Law


Tax Law is the enshrined body of law that relates to government levies or charges upon economic activity within its jurisdiction, i.e. taxes.

Taxes commonly fall into two categories - taxes on wealth, income and estates and taxes on capital gains.

A tax is an enforced contribution, able to be demanded by a government due to the legislative authority of that tax.

Taxes are collected by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC), a government authority empowered to collect taxes.

HMRC are able to impose penalties on individuals and companies who fail to pay the taxes they are liable for in the form of civil penalties (fines or property forfeitures) or criminal penalties such as imprisonment.

There are numerous taxes currently in existence such as Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Council Tax, Business Rates and Inheritance Tax.

Tax Law sets out the regulations under which individuals and companies are liable for particular specific taxes.

As many tax regulations are highly complex in nature it is not unusual for specialist tax lawyers to be employed with the aim of discovering loopholes in tax laws to enable tax avoidance.

Tax avoidance is legal.

Failing to pay taxes for which a person or company is liable is tax evasion - this is illegal.

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Tax Law Specialists