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Review DHIAL. Desarrollo Humano e Institucional en América Latina

Year: 2015 n. 82

Atria, Jorge. Elites, the Tax System and Inequality in Chile. Background and PerspectivesChile
inequality | Chilean tax system | elites | tax evasion and avoidance


The tax and benefits system has little influence on redistributing income in Chile, making reduction of inequality more difficult due to insufficient tax collection, several exemptions and problems of evasion and avoidance. This work explores some of the main features of the Chilean tax system, particularly tax evasion and tax avoidance among the elite, because they contribute more (at least in absolute terms) with their tax payments, they also have the highest levels of information (or the resources to get it), and a greater interest in and more knowledge regarding the payment of taxes. This motivates for example the use of tax advisory services. In addition, the influence of economic groups permits the reproduction of a tax system with several regressive elements. A broader perspective is suggested, considering the role of institutions, discourses and everyday practices, in order to explore whether the Chilean tax system contributes reproducing a privileged position for the elite, with consequences on progressivity, and legitimizing a reductionist vision of taxes, that avoids considerations about social inequality.

Free numerical version | Germany Year of creation: 2011

Publisher: desiguALdades.net. Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America

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