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76 Mich. L. Rev. 733 (1977-1978)


Professor Gunn explores the merits of “tax avoidance” approaches in dealing with cases involving unpaid taxes. He describes definitions of the term and also illustrates some alternatives to the tax avoidance approach. Looking at how tax avoidance is dealt with in laws and in judicial decisions Gunn notes that lawmakers should not attempt to formulate authoritative rules on preventing it. This is because taxpayers have a well-known desire to reduce their taxes, and will find ways to get around laws. Authoritative and too well defined rules ignore what taxpayers might do in response to them. Professor Gunn concludes by arguing that the best approach to preventing tax avoidance is to create laws that are general and flexible. Judges, who knows better than legislators the facts of specific cases should be left to decide how the laws should be applied.


Reprinted with permission of Michigan Law Review.

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