Kim Brooks (Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law; Google Scholar), Where Tax Law Canno Be Found, You Will Find a Robustly-Tasked Tax Administrator (JOTWELL) (reviewing Wei Cui (British Columbia; Google Scholar), The Administrative Foundations of the Chinese Fiscal State (Cambridge University Press (2022) (reviewed by David Elkins (Netanya; Google Scholar) here)):
The hard work that went into authoring The Administrative Foundations of the Chinese Fiscal State is palpable from the first page. Cui seeks to achieve two aims: (1) to tease out aspects of Chinese taxation of general interest to policy makers and social scientists in other countries (P. 3) and (2) to offer a new framework for understanding the policies and politics of taxation in China (P. 4). Both aims are accomplished handily.
Particularly fun for those of us who like tax administration, Cui claims that ground-level tax administration is essential to understanding the Chinese tax system. Focusing on tax administration, tax collection and revenue mobilization, allows Cui to show us something new about our own tax systems. He offers us the opportunity to see more clearly our own paradigmatic orientation: one that centres the importance of rule of law.
Instead of accepting standard stories — that third-party reporting will reduce evasion, that offering incentives to tax administrators will facilitate greater collection of tax revenues, and that boosting taxpayer morale and enhancing audit capacity will result in greater revenue collection — Cui explores how the Chinese tax administration has managed to enhance its gross tax ratio without relying on the standard advice. …
In addition to Cui’s detailed and thoughtful analysis, another feature of the work that makes it a must read bears mention. Occasionally you get glimpses of Cui himself In addition to Cui’s detailed and thoughtful analysis, another feature of the work that makes it a must read bears mention. Occasionally you get glimpses of Cui himself — for example, where he recounts stories of his own experiences teaching in China, meeting with tax administration personnel, or getting a foot massage. These stories gave me a much richer sense of how Cui came to build his theory of tax administration, policy making and politics. And his observations from his experiences enabled me to better see the thoughtfulness behind his questions and his approach to making sense of the Chinese tax system.