Thursday, 17.10.2019

Corporate Taxation in the Global Economy

Efforts to address global corporate tax issues have previously stalled. Is a consensus for reform emerging?

This panel discussion focused on:

  • Highlighting the importance of tackling corporate tax avoidance and tax competition.
  • Taking stock of the current international reform process and debate reform proposals.
  • Identifying solutions to ensure that least developed countries have a voice in the debate.

Despite challenges to multilateralism, a consensus for global tax reform is emerging- and it is much needed, as international corporate tax rules are under unprecedented stress. The Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan adopted four years ago by the G20 did not stop countries from undercutting each other with unilateral measures to protect their tax base. Furthermore, BEPS did not address the challenges of the digital economy, failed to simplify rules for tax administrations, did not address the race to the bottom in tax rates and it ignored developing countries’ longstanding demand to revisit taxing rights.

A new global agreement is essential to decrease the multi-trillion-dollar financing gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fight inequality, uphold human rights and improve human development outcomes. Multilateral institutions such as the IMF, OECD, G20 and UN acknowledge the need for change. Success will require more effective and inclusive cooperation than in the past. The question of “who makes the rules?” is just as pertinent as what the rules should be.

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