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A government needs money to be able to operate and usually raises a significant proportion of this finance by taxing those who live and earn income within its boundaries. This paper addresses aspects of the question why one government, the Australian government, should choose income tax as the major vehicle for raising revenue. Drawing on the work of the French historian and philosopher Michel Foucault it is suggested the income taxing system provides a way of disciplining and monitoring the population, primarily to encourage the voluntary payment of income tax but also allowing each citizen to become known.

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