What will BEPS mean for developing countries?

“Researchers at the OECD are not free to think the unthinkable. They have to take account of the interests of each and every member state.” Or at least that’s what a recent paper in the Review of International Political Economy concludes from its interviews with civil servants. Yet thinking the unthinkable, or at least “thinking… Continue reading What will BEPS mean for developing countries?

Is there anything new in this tax avoidance debate?

Over the break I read Sol Picciotto’s seminal International Business Taxation, published in 1992. It’s not hard to see why this book has acquired the status – in academia at least – of definitive account of the international tax system and its foundation. And it is interesting to see that the current outcry over transfer… Continue reading Is there anything new in this tax avoidance debate?

Corporation tax raises $1.5 trillion a year

All this talk of tax competition, tax planning, tax avoidance, and so on can make one terribly pessimistic. After reading Tim Harford and Michael Devereux both argue that we may as will give up on corporation tax, I got to wondering how much it actually raises. Luckily I had some data to hand, from the… Continue reading Corporation tax raises $1.5 trillion a year

How much tax “ought” Starbucks to have paid?

On Friday evening Ben Saunders posted a really interesting reply to my post arguing the case for name and shame campaigns. If you haven’t already, you should go read it. It’s interesting for two reasons. First, because Ben’s been thinking hard about Starbucks’ tax structure and the practical implementation of its dramatic commitment last week.… Continue reading How much tax “ought” Starbucks to have paid?

Why I don’t agree with UK Uncut’s critics

In this post, I’m going to let you into a little secret about tax avoidance campaigners. But I’ll come back to that in a bit. In a week bookended by the Public Accounts Committee’s criticism of Starbucks, Amazon and Google, and UK Uncut’s planned action in Starbucks stores, the usual criticisms of ‘name and shame’… Continue reading Why I don’t agree with UK Uncut’s critics