Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



The interlink between taxation, citizenship and democracy appears to be obvious in Western democracies: citizens are voters, taxpayers and beneficiaries of public spending funded by tax revenues. The literature on the politics of taxation suggests that democratic institutions affect taxation at every stage of the policy-making process, the type of elections and governance model influence the level of redistribution and complexity of the tax system, democracies generally choose policies that are more favorable to the poor than non-democracies, the tax mix varies with the nature of the political regime, and more repressive governments rely less on personal income taxation. Political citizenship is not identical to tax citizenship as most countries rely on residence as the basis of tax jurisdiction and some citizens living abroad are not tax residents. However, citizenship can be viewed as a proxy for domicile and, in effect, correspond to residence in most cases. The principle of “no taxation without representation” captures the quintessential link between taxation and democracy. This paper examines the interlink in Canada and China.


"Written for the Workshop on 'The Interlinking between Taxation, Citizenship, and Democracy' on May 8, 2023, Oslo, Norway"