Commercial banks UBS and HSBC embroiled in scandals that in some cases exposed lawmakers themselves as tax evaders… multinationals Google and Apple using the Double Irish and other tax avoidance strategies… governments granting fiscal sweetheart deals behind closed doors (as in Luxembourg)... the stream of news items documenting the crisis of global tax governance is not about to dry up.
Much work has been done in individual disciplines on the phenomenon of tax competition that lies at the heart of this crisis. Yet, the combination of issues of democratic legitimacy, social justice, economic efficiency, and national sovereignty that tax competition raises clearly requires an interdisciplinary analysis.
This book offers a rare example of this kind of work, bringing together experts from political science, philosophy, law, and economics whose contributions combine empirical analysis with normative and institutional proposals. It makes an important contribution to reforming international taxation.
'Tax specialists may think they have little to learn from a book on global tax governance, especially one that concludes that the best solution is to create a new International Tax Organisation (ITO). They would be wrong. Anyone concerned with international taxation will benefit from this excellent collection of essays about the nature and possible resolutions of the conflicts within and between states about fiscal sovereignty, tax competition, and domestic and international equity that underlie the international tax discussion. The authors do not always agree with each other and few readers are likely to agree with all of them. But this book makes clear what is really at issue in this discussion and shows why even the recent prodigious efforts of the OECD-G20 BEPS group are most unlikely to produce any lasting solutions. For nation-states and economic globalisation to coexist, something like an ITO may indeed prove necessary.'
Richard Bird, University of Toronto