canon of taxation



  • noun one of a series of criteria developed by Adam Smith to judge if a tax is good. The four canons are (a) the cost of collecting the tax should be much lower than the amount collected; (b) the payers must be told how much to pay and when to pay it; (c) the time and means of payment must be convenient for the payer; (d) the tax should depend on the ability of the taxpayer to pay it.