Encyclopedia of Sustainable Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Samuel Idowu, René Schmidpeter, Nicholas Capaldi, Liangrong Zu, Mara Del Baldo, Rute Abreu


  • Stefania VigniniEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-02006-4_888-1


A tax (from the Latin taxo) is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or other legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund various public expenditures (McLure 1970). A failure to pay, along with evasion of or resistance to taxation, is punishable by law. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labor equivalent.

Legal Definition

The legal definition and the economic definition of taxes differ in some ways such as economists do not regard many transfers to governments as taxes. For example, some transfers to the public sector are comparable to prices. Examples include tuition at public universities and fees for utilities provided by local governments. Governments also obtain resources by “creating” money and coins (e.g., by printing bills and by minting coins), through voluntary gifts (e.g., contributions to public universities and museums), by imposing penalties...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Bologne, Department of ManagementBologneItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kristijan Krač

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