Business leaders have warned Labour its plans to re-introduce the 50p top rate of tax would put Britain's economic recovery at risk.
Ed Balls pledged that the highest earners - those on more than £150,000 - would pay more income tax as part of a Labour government's plan to balance the books.
Union leaders said the move showed that Labour " understands the need for a fairer taxation system" but senior business figures accused the party of being "anti-business".
Labour is seeking to retake ground on the economy by demonstrating its fiscal discipline following growth forecasts that are favourable for the Coalition.
Mr Balls told the Fabian Society annual conference that he would introduce a legally binding pledge to balance the books, run a current budget surplus and cut the national debt.
The move echoes Chancellor George Osborne's plans to wipe out the deficit by 2018/19 but Labour insists the timescale for its commitment is dependent on the state of the economy after the election.
Mr Balls said restoring the 50p tax - reduced to 45p under the Coalition last year - would go towards meeting the target.
Figures released by HM Revenue and Customs showed that top earners paid £9.5 billion more in total income tax liabilities when the rate was set at 50p than previous analysis had shown, Labour said.
Mr Balls told the conference: "When the deficit is still high, when tough times are now set to last well into the next parliament, when for ordinary families their real incomes are falling and taxes have risen, it cannot be right for David Cameron and George Osborne to have chosen to give the richest people in the country a huge tax cut."
He added: "That's why, for the next parliament, the next Labour government will reverse this government's top rate tax cut so we can finish the job of getting the deficit down and do it fairly.
" For the next parliament, we will restore the 50p top rate of tax for those earning over £150,000.
"Reversing this unfair tax cut for the richest one per cent of people in the country and cutting the deficit in a fairer way."
Business leaders and tax campaigners, however, were quick to criticise the announcement.
Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, said the move would " significantly damage Labour's credibility" in the business community.
He added: "It is deeply disappointing to see Ed Balls, who was much respected as City minister, pandering to the troglodyte elements in his own party."
Rob Templeman, chairman of the British Retail Consortium, said: "This tax increase would be bad for business in Britain. It would put the recovery at risk, deter investment and ultimately cost jobs."
Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Ocado, said: "This will put at risk all the good work that has been done to put the economy back on track."
Autonomy founder Mike Lynch said: "The proposed tax increase would put jobs and the economic recovery at risk and discourage investment into the UK."
Kingfisher Group chief executive Sir Ian Cheshire said: "While it is completely right that higher earners should be paying more total tax, putting up the percentage rate is the wrong answer. When the percentage rate was cut the total tax paid went up and the top 0.1% now pay over 30% of all income tax. Raising the rate is bad economics and sends an anti-business message that may undermine investment plans and the recovery."
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid said: " It's the same old Labour - they haven't changed and they have no long-term economic plan for the future."
Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: " Labour's hypocrisy on taxation is breathtaking. In government they left a system full of loopholes for the wealthy to exploit."
Mark Littlewood, director general at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: "Reintroducing the 50p top rate of income tax would be a disaster for both enterprise and economic growth."
Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Reintroducing the 50p rate would be an unmitigated disaster for Britain."
A Unite spokesman said: "The commitment to restore the 50p top rate of tax is a sign that a future Labour government understands the need for a fairer taxation system in this country.
"This is a beginning; we would urge Labour to also tackle the disgraceful abuse of the system by the evaders and avoiders too.
"Voters will know now that Labour is emerging as a positive choice for this country.
"Contrast this move with the complacency of the government, which has instead of finding ways to get money into people's pockets, insists to cash-strapped workers that everything is rosy."