Document Type

Book Chapter

Book Authors/Editors

Anthony C. Infanti


NYU Press

Publication Date



In daily life and in tax law, time is taken for granted as something that is ever present but beyond our control. Time moves endlessly and relentlessly forward, constantly slipping from our grasp. But what if life were more like science fiction? What if we could, at will, move through time to alter its course? Or what if we could harness time by turning it into an exchangeable commodity, truly using time as money? In fact, there is no need to open a novel or watch a movie to experience time travel or to see time used as a medium of exchange. As Tax and Time demonstrates through accessible explanation and analysis of examples drawn from the United States and other countries, we need look no further than our tax laws to see time manipulated in these—and many other—ways.

But Tax and Time does more than just complicate and overturn prevailing views of how time operates in and through tax law. In asserting that time in tax law is the product of pure imagination, Tax and Time calls into question the world beyond time that we have created for ourselves. Has the tax imagination been used to work toward a more just world or merely to entrench and exacerbate existing injustices? Finding that the tax imagination is too often used to perpetrate or perpetuate injustice, Tax and Time calls for a systematic reexamination and reworking of the relationship between time and tax law with the aim of using the power of the tax imagination as a tool for moving society toward a better and more just future. The introduction to the work, available here, expounds on this further.