Showing 37 - 48 of 55 blogs
April 2017
Blog
by Maya Forstater

Nations vary in their approach to transparency about taxpayers. In Norway details of everyone’s income and taxes are published in annual ‘tax lists’. In most countries the information on your tax return is considered strictly confidential to the revenue authority. In recent years countries have agreed to exchange more information amongst themselves – such as…

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April 2017
Blog
by Sol Picciotto

Last week the UN Committee of Experts on International Tax (UNTC) met at the United Nations HQ in New York, a few metres from the Security Council meetings on Syria, followed by a special session on tax of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Most of the meeting dealt with detailed technical issues, as the…

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March 2017
Blog
by Alex Cobham

There are now a range of estimates of the global scale of tax avoidance. These include: the $600 billion annual tax loss estimated by IMF researchers Crivelli et al. (2015; 2016), which divides roughly into $400 billion of OECD losses and $200 billion elsewhere; the $100 billion annual tax losses that UNCTAD’s World Investment Report…

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February 2017
Blog
by Alex Cobham

International tax rules for multinational companies appear to be approaching a major crossroads, for three reasons. First, the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) process is increasingly seen as unlikely to deliver on the ambition of its one stated aim, to reduce the misalignment between multinationals’ declared, taxable profits and the location of their…

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January 2017
Blog
by Michael Durst

Policy-makers in developing countries, when choosing a mix of fiscal instruments to govern a mining or oil-and-gas development, often face a dilemma. It’s a tug-of-war between tradition, as represented by a preference for royalties that are based on the gross value of extracted product, and economic theory, represented by the use of taxes based on…

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December 2016
Blog
by Sol Picciotto

What are international tax disputes? Formally, international tax disputes are between the tax authorities of two different countries. They result from differing interpretations of the provisions of a tax treaty between the two countries. However, they mainly affect taxpayers with cross-border economic activities, usually transnational corporations (TNCs). Tax treaties are normally incorporated into domestic law. So,…

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February 2016
Blog
by Maya Forstater

Over the past couple of weeks Malawi has become the latest poster child for UK campaigns arguing that changes to the international tax system can deliver outsize returns for development. Specifically, Action Aid is calling on the UK government to renegotiate a 60-year-old tax treaty. Questions were also raised about this issue in the House of…

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January 2016
Blog
by Mick Moore

On Wednesday, 31 countries formally agreed to support and implement one of the main recommendations put forward by the OECD to reduce tax avoidance by transnational corporations, the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) recommendations. This major initiative has been somewhat sidelined by media hype around Google tax payments. Have OECD governments missed the opportunity for more substantial…

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December 2015
Blog
by Rhiannon McCluskey

In the past decades, the evolution of international norms has led fair labour practices and environmental sustainability to become core parts of corporate social responsibility. Is fair tax contribution next? How do international norms come to be? In the late 1990s, international relations scholars Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink developed a theory for how ideas develop…

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November 2015
Blog
by Sol Picciotto

There’s surprising news from Antalya, where the G20 leaders met last weekend. The meeting was obviously dominated by immediate crises dramatised by the terrorist attack in Paris and the continuing drama of mass refugee movements. They nevertheless found time to discuss, among other issues, a new legal framework to curb international tax avoidance by multinational…

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October 2015
Blog
by Antony Ting

Two years on from a project triggered by scrutiny of the “successful” tax avoidance structures of multinationals such as Apple, Google and Microsoft, the OECD has delivered its final package of reforms on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). Is the BEPS project a success? The answer is as elusive as the answer to the classic question “is the…

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August 2015
Blog
by Antony Ting & Kerrie Sadiq

The report of the Senate Economics References Committee inquiry into corporate tax avoidance comes with the subtitle – “You cannot tax what you cannot see”, with a strong focus on increased transparency. The majority of the 17 recommendations in the interim report relate to improved transparency of the tax affairs of corporate taxpayers. This is a significant…

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