The Simplified Wealth of Nations of Adam Smith, Book 5, Chapter 2b: Rent and sale of government lands

Chapter 2c, Part 2: Taxes

23 Book 1 has shown that private revenue comes from rent, profit, and wages.

24 Below are the four general maxims on taxes.
  1. 25People should contribute towards supporting their government in proportion to their respective abilities.
  1. 26The tax which each person pays must be certain and not arbitrary.
  1. 27Every tax should be levied at the time and manner most convenient for the taxpayer.
  1. 28Taxes should take out as little as possible from the people over and above what it brings into the public treasury.
These four ways make taxes more burdensome to the people than they are beneficial to the sovereign. 29 The justice and utility of the above maxims have recommended them to the attention of all nations.

Next: Chapter 2d: Land tax