23rd June 2022 - 24th June 2022
Fairness in International Taxation
Reflecting recent developments in international tax policy, this workshop will establish a dialogue between scholars in law, tax theory, political philosophy and political theory to discuss the normative foundations of international tax policy and their implications for current reform proposals.
The nature of international tax policy has changed dramatically in recent years. Twentieth century international tax policy sought to prevent double taxation of income, to treat taxpayers doing business abroad fairly and to mitigate inefficiencies in the allocation of investment. Recently, the focus of international tax policymaking has shifted, aiming to prevent double non-taxation of corporate income and to achieve a fair division of the resulting tax revenue. This is illustrated most prominently by the recent agreement on a global minimum corporation tax rate.
As international tax policy raises its ambitions, there is an urgent need for normative theories adequate to the moment. The deep, rich, and venerable literature on fairness in taxation at the level of the nation state is not adequate for evaluating international tax policy. Despite the increasing importance of the topic in the public arena, the division of tax revenue among nations has not been a prominent part of debates over global distributive justice, at least relative to international trade, climate change, international migration and foreign aid.
This workshop will use insights and perspectives from political philosophy and political theory to explore questions of fairness in international tax policy. It will consider both abstract questions of distributive justice and the normative underpinnings and implications of leading policy proposals. These raise questions such as how to divide tax revenue from multinationals between nations, how to strike a fair balance between combating profiting shifting and respecting national autonomy, the ethics of tax competition between states, and the ethical dimensions of tax practice in a global economy. The aim is to bring together high-level theory with analysis of the political and institutional context of policy to develop new accounts of fairness in international taxation.
Dr Ira Lindsay, School of Law
Ms Benita Mathew, School of Law
This workshop is also sponsored by the Surrey Centre for Law and Philosophy
If you would like to attend this event, either in person or online, please register using the form below. Registration will close on Thursday 16 June.
The deadline for submission of abstracts has now passed.
This is an exciting time in international tax policy. Recent momentum toward international tax cooperation has seen policy proposals rise to the top of the international agenda that would have seemed utopian only a few years ago. Regardless of the fate of current OECD/G20 proposals, new policies to limit profit shifting and tax competition seem likely to be adopted. This new context of policy making calls for fresh consideration of the normative dimensions of international tax policy. International agreements to divide tax revenue among nations make obvious the need for analysis of fair principles of allocating taxing rights. Measures to combat profit shifting and tax competition must strike the right balance between protecting the tax base of high-tax jurisdictions and securing the autonomy of jurisdictions that may wish to use tax policy as a tool to attract investment or encourage economic development.
The Fairness in International Taxation workshop will bring together scholars in law, tax theory, political philosophy and political theory to develop new approaches to the thorny issues raised by the latest developments in international tax policy. Its aim is, on the one hand, to explore the implications of philosophical accounts of justice for leading questions of public policy and on the other to grapple with the interplay between abstract normative considerations and the complex institutional context in which policy is formulated and implemented. Contributions are welcome across a wide range of topics including the implications of theories of global distributive justice for tax policy, the ethics of tax competition, the OECD’s BEPS project, conflicts over taxation of the digital economy, global minimum taxes, and the normative evaluation of proposals for reform of the international tax system. Those who are selected to present a draft paper at the workshop will be invited to contribute to an edited volume on fairness in international taxation.
The workshop will have a hybrid format with participants having the option to present either in-person or remotely. In-person participants will be invited to a conference dinner the evening of June 23 and provided with accommodation in Guildford for at least one night. Abstracts should be submitted via the form below by 20 March 2022. Abstracts will be selected by early April.