The Simplified Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith, Book 5, Chapter 2, Part 2: Specific Profit Taxes

Chapter 2h, Part 2: Article 2: Specific Profit Taxes

Taxes On The Profit of Particular Trades

100In some countries, extraordinary taxes are imposed on profits when employed:

101 The extraordinary taxes on particular trades in England are on: During the recent war, a similar tax was proposed on shops. 102 A tax on the profits from any trade can never fall finally on the dealers. 103 This kind of tax is finally paid by the consumer.   104 The French personal taille is perhaps the most important tax on agricultural profits in Europe.   105 In the European disorder during the feudal government, the sovereign was obliged to tax those who were too weak to refuse to pay taxes.   106 In France, the personal taille presently (1775) imposed on the Countries of Elections is 40,107,239 livres, 16 sous. 107 When a tax is imposed on the profits of a certain trade, the traders are all careful to bring no more goods to market than what they can sell at a price sufficient to reimburse them for the tax.   108 In the countries with the personal taille, the farmer is commonly assessed in proportion to his agricultural stock.   109 Poll-taxes in the southern provinces of North America and in the West Indian Islands are annual taxes on every negro.   110 Taxes on every bondman employed in cultivation were anciently common in Europe.   111 In Holland, the taxes imposed on maid-servants are taxes on expence, not on stock.   112Taxes on the profits of stock in particular employments can never affect the interest of money.
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Next: Chapter 2i: Capital Taxes