It took just 66 years for us to progress from flying the first successful aircraft (the Wright Flyer, 1903) to putting man on the moon. In fact, there were only seven years between President Kennedy declaring “we choose to go to the moon” in 1962 and Neil Armstrong stepping onto its surface. When we need to, people can make technology move at an astonishing pace.
In contrast, the evolution of taxation has been pedestrian. Tax as a concept has been around since around 3,000 BC and the first income tax was introduced in the UK in 1799. But the tax system we have today doesn’t match the world as it is. In the main, it is resolutely pre-digital. As governments and multilateral organisations grapple with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, changes to taxation are now a priority.
I believe this is our “we choose to go to the moon” moment.