Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tomorrow at McGill Law: Sagit Leviner presents on the Three Goals of Taxation

The 4th Annual Tax Policy Colloquium at McGill Law continues Monday with a presentation by Professor Sagit Leviner of Ono Academic College, Israel, on her paper, co-authored with Tali Nir, Contemplating on the Meaning & Attainment of the Three Goals of Taxation, forthcoming in Honoring Arie Lapidot (Hebrew University Press, 2014). Here is the abstract:
Why do we need a tax system? Do we want the tax system to only finance public goods and services or do we also intend it to redistribute wealth and regulate human behavior?  What are the different means available to advance each goal and the likely (as well as unlikely) tension that might built up when utilizing these means and pursuing  the different goals? This chapter seeks to address these questions in order to present the building-blocks for a clear and accessible analysis of the goals of taxation. Specifically, the chapter addresses these goals in the context of the Israeli tax system while placing the analysis in a broader theoretical and empirical setting.
In connection with the above, Professor Leviner will discuss her 2003 Tannenwald prize-winning paper, From Deontology to Practical Application: the Vision of a Good Society and the Tax System, 24 Va. Tax Rev. 406 (2006) [draft here]. That paper laid out Leviner's vision for thinking abut tax policy from the perspective of a community-rather than individual-oriented view of society, "drawn from an analysis of the role that individual and collective rights and responsibilities ought to play in contemporary tax policy-making." This innovative work laid the groundwork for her current research and should make for a lively discussion.

The McGill Tax Policy Colloquium features distinguished visiting academics and offers a forum for students, professors, and local practitioners to discuss issues of tax policy and theory, along with related issues of economics and social justice.

Professor Leviner's talk is scheduled to commence at 2:30 pm tomorrow; members of the public are warmly welcomed.

 Location: McGill Faculty of Law, 3644 Peel Street, New Chancellor Day Hall, Room 203.
 Date and Time: Monday, 28 October, 14:30–16:30.

OECD public meeting on tax-base erosion project: US MNCs hope to 'participate'

Reuters reports that the OECD will have a "public meeting" in Paris on Nov 12-13, at which "companies will get to voice their concerns about the OECD's 'base erosion and profit shifting,' or BEPS, project":
The United States Council for International Business (USCIB), representing about 300 U.S. multinationals, has asked to participate at the hearing, said Carol Doran Klein, USCIB's tax counsel, on Monday.
And here comes a parade of lobbying that will be designed to protect all that is favorable to their clients in the status quo. These are the moments when I really appreciate the amount of transparency we have in US politics thanks to organizations like Open Secrets, the Sunlight Foundation and Muckrock:
A number of U.S. companies, including E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co, (DD.N) and Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O), have raised questions about the BEPS project with members of Congress and the Obama administration, according to corporate lobbying disclosures filed earlier this year.
Remember "raising questions' is like "raising concerns": it doesn't mean the speaker has either a question or a concern; instead it means the speaker has an agenda. The Reuter's story continues:
Under existing international standards, the fees charged [on an inter-company basis] are supposed to be set using an "arm's length" approach, meaning one that replicates market-level values. In practice, fees are often skewed so that profits can be shifted into the low-tax country where the assets are located and out of higher tax countries. 
These practices are legal, but tax fairness activists and some less-developed countries are complaining about them.
Interesting subtext there. The story doesn't give any more detail about the public meeting but here is what the OECD says:
On 12-13 November a consultation, open to the public and press, will be held at the OECD in Paris. If you wish to attend, please contact
Is not public and press redundant? No matter: the point is, this is part of the public consultation portion of the BEPS program.Here is a draft agenda in pdf, and it is fascinating in lineup of both topics and speakers--namely, only two are named right now and one of them has been a long time and trusted voice of business interests against corporate tax transparency, and purveyor of norm framing exercises at the OECD, namely, GE's Will Morris; the other is Michelle Levac, noted as one of the 50 biggest influences in tax by International Tax Review, owing to her role in leading Working Party 6 on transfer pricing. These two get bookend treatment, opening and closing the consultation. All the other speakers are TBD, so this is where the USCIB seeks to gain a foothold. Here is the outline so far:
Programme  Public Consultation on Transfer Pricing Matters  12-13 November 2013  OECD Conference Centre  2 Rue André Pascal, Paris 16th, France  Tuesday 12 November  08:30-09:30 Registration   09:30-09:50 Opening remarks and Ground Rules    Speakers:
Michelle LEVAC, Chair of Working Party No. 6
William MORRIS, BIAC   09:50-11:15 I:  Implementing country-by-country reporting  The BEPS Action Plan directs the OECD to develop and implement a system of country-by-country reporting to tax authorities of high level MNE group financial information.  A large number of questions arise in connection with implementing such a system.  These include:  (i) what information should be reported; (ii) at what time should that information be reported; (iii) to whom should such information be reported; and (iv) how should such information be shared among relevant governments, taking into consideration concerns regarding non-cooperative governments, incomplete treaty information exchange obligations, and the need to protect confidential taxpayer information.
Speakers: to be announced
1.  Information to be reported
2.  Information to be reported
3. Mechanisms for reporting / to whom to report / information sharing   11:15-11:45 Refreshment Break      11:45-13:15 II:  White Paper on Transfer Pricing Documentation  The BEPS Action Plan calls for the OECD to develop rules on transfer pricing documentation.  To initiate that process, the OECD published a White Paper on transfer pricing documentation on 30 July 2013.  The White Paper raises a number of issues on which business has provided comments.  These include: (i) the implementation of a standardised two tier documentation system; (ii) the use and content of a global master file; (iii) mechanisms for limiting early reporting to information useful in risk assessment with subsequent opportunity for governments to obtain detailed information necessary for audit; (iv) the development of materiality standards; (v) implementing consistent documentation formats across countries; and (vi) mechanisms for minimising unnecessary compliance burdens.    Speakers: to be announced  1.  Two tier approach
2.  Contents of global master file
3. Establishing materiality standards  4. Mechanisms for simplifying compliance (1)
5. Mechanisms for simplifying compliance (2).   13:15-14:30 Lunch break      14:30-16:00 III:  Revised Discussion Draft On Transfer Pricing Aspects Of Intangibles – Definitional Issues And Comparability Factors  On 30 July 2013 the OECD published a Revised Discussion Draft on Intangibles.  In the RDD, the definitional section was changed in some respects.  In addition, a new section of the RDD addresses comparability factors including location savings, features of local markets, assembled workforce, and corporate synergies.   Discussion in the afternoon session will be devoted to definitional issues and to the new section on comparability factors.
Speakers: to be announced
1. RDD changes to the definition of intangibles
2. Usefulness of the term “marketing intangibles”
3. Treatment of goodwill and on-going concern value / Examples 16 and 18   16:00-16:30 Refreshment Break      16:30-18:00 IV:  Revised Discussion Draft On Transfer Pricing Aspects Of Intangibles – Definitional Issues And Comparability Factors  (Continued)    Speakers: to be announced
4.Treatment of location savings and local market features
5. Treatment of Assembled Workforce
6. Treatment of group synergies
7. The financing and guarantee examples / Examples 1 and 2     Wednesday 13 November     09:30-11:00 V.  Revised Discussion Draft On Transfer Pricing Aspects Of Intangibles – Section B Of The RDD Section B of the June 2012 Discussion Draft attracted numerous written comments and was the subject of much discussion at the last business consultation. It has been substantially redrafted.  The approach in the RDD is more transactional in nature, while still emphasising the primary importance of functions performed, assets used and risks assumed.  The morning discussion will focus on the changes to Section B and the related examples     Speakers: to be announced
1. The general approach of new section B.
2. Examples 1 – 3
3. The treatment of outsourcing arrangements
4. The treatment of important functions   11:00-11:30  Refreshment Break      11:30-13:15 VI:  REVISED DISCUSSION DRAFT ON TRANSFER PRICING ASPECTS OF INTANGIBLES – SECTION B    Speakers: to be announced
5. Examples 11 – 14 and footnote 5 on page 63.
6. Treatment of funding for intangible development
7. Guidance on the use of corporate trade names   13:15-14:30 Lunch      14:30-15:15 VII: Other Discussion Draft Topics    Speakers: to be announced
1. Treatment of valuation techniques
2. Guidance on transfer pricing methods
3. Options realistically available / Example 24   15:15-16:00 VIII: Transfer Pricing Aspects Of The Beps Action Plan
The BEPS Action Plan published in July will guide much of the OECD transfer pricing work in the next two years.  The Action Plan contains four substantive transfer pricing areas of work in Actions 4, 8, 9, and 10.   This discussion will provide business an early opportunity to comment on the transfer pricing aspects of the Action Plan and the approach that Working Party No. 6 should take to fulfilling its mandate under the Action Plan.    Speakers: to be announced
1. How should the BEPS Project approach the question of hard to value intangibles / particularly transfers of partially developed intangibles?
2. How should the BEPS Project approach questions of risk allocations that may give rise to separation of income from relevant economic activity?
3. What role should there be for approaches outside the arm's length principle in addressing BEPS issues?        16:00-16:30 Refreshment Break      16:30-17:30 IX:  TRANSFER PRICING ASPECTS OF THE BEPS ACTION PLAN (CONTINUED)    Speakers: to be announced
4. How should the BEPS project approach the topic of recharacterisation of transactions?
5. What should the BEPS project consider in connection with global value chains and profit split approaches?
6.  What should the BEPS work on financial transactions address?    CONCLUDING REMARKS   17:30-18:00 Speakers:
Michelle LEVAC, Chair of Working Party No. 6
William MORRIS, BIAC   18:00 ADJOURN
Perhaps there will be additional public consultation meetings, I do not know. As Lynne LaTulippe taught my tax policy class recently, the consultation process is an often overlooked and in general understudied aspect of norm diffusion and lawmaking. This is one of the many times I wish that I was geographically situated to attend these things. I will be very interested to see how the speaker lineup evolves and would be very grateful to hear about the discussion from anyone who attends.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rosenzweig on Corporate Tax Incidence

Last week I posted the JCT paper that outlines their approach to measuring the incidence of the corporate tax, in which  Further on the question of who bears the in which the JCT explained its decision to assume that in the short run the incidence of corporate tax is fully on capital owners but in the long run (assumed to be reached by the end of a ten year analysis period), owners can shift 25% of the tax to domestic labor. Adam Rosenzweig recently posted a paper on this topic, entitled A Corporate Tax for the Next One Hundred Years: Incorporating Macro-Economic Conditions and Fiscal Policy into the Corporate Income Tax, in which he argues that that incidence can shift more onto labor during periods of high unemployment, so corporate tax rates should float in response to prevent this shifting of incidence onto labor at the worst time. Here is the abstract:
The United States has included some form of income tax on corporations at least since the enactment of the Sixteenth Amendment one hundred years ago. Notwithstanding this long lineage, however, surprisingly little is known about who ultimately ends up bearing the cost of the tax, or whether it even matters. Perhaps in simpler economic times such as 1913, or 1932, or even 1980, this might have been acceptable. But as the world confronts vastly different economic conditions than the ones faced in the past, finding new ways to understand and implement the corporate tax will become crucial to its survival. This Article will introduce one way to do so by taking into account how macro-economic conditions, such as high unemployment, can impact who bears the incidence of the corporate income tax. The lesson that can be learned is that conditions such as high unemployment can cause the incidence of the corporate income tax to shift from capital onto labor, at least as compared to periods of full employment. This insight into who actually bears the cost of the corporate tax can fundamentally alter the landscape of the corporate tax policy debate, from using corporate taxes to increase progressivity to abolishing the corporate tax through integration. By explicitly incorporating both macro and micro-economic realities into fiscal policy, policymakers can transform the corporate income tax from a blunt and uncertain fiscal tool to a more precise instrument robust enough to survive the next one hundred years. 
This Article will consider one specific example, proposing a Dynamic Self-Adjusting Tax rate, or DST for short. The DST takes the incentive of employers to shift the cost of the corporate tax onto labor through lower wages, increased layoffs, or otherwise during periods of high unemployment as a given. The DST then offsets this by charging employers (through higher marginal tax rates) when they do shift the cost of the corporate tax onto labor while, at the same time, rewarding employers (through lower marginal tax rates) when they make new investments in labor. In this manner, the DST could help reduce existing tax-induced distortions while also potentially generating positive macro-economic feedback effects. By incorporating both macro and micro effects into the analysis, the DST could prove pro-growth, pro-employment, and self-financing all at the same time.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Global Tax Expert Database?

I've been slowly working through a couple of manuscript reviews and in one of them I started thinking about the problem of fly-in expert consultation, i.e., the traditional model of tax experts from rich countries flying in to developing countries to assess the situation and provide advice for tax reforms. This was connected to a conversation I had on twitter last week about how to get needed research on technical tax policy alternatives accomplished, when donors and tax policy institutions like the OECD tend to focus on tax assistance that furthers rather than challenges the status quo. The dangers inherent in these paradigms include policy ossification helped along by ideological entrenchment, as well as the privileging of historical ideas about who ought to be considered an expert. Also relatedly, in a paper I am working on about tax governance and the problem of special interest group influence, I am thinking about how to create more policy space for alternative tax policy views from academics and non-governmental, non-industry groups--i.e., those without direct (pecuniary or otherwise) stakes in tax policy outcomes.

This brought me to thinking again that lending expertise upon demand (rather than pushing expertise onto others) is an appealing idea and I would like to see some sort of a matching program, through which interested academics, NGOs, and other non-industry, non-government experts could make themselves available to revenue officials, especially in poorer countries, to collaborate on reforms desired by the officials, for instance by reading reforms proposed by industry or legislators or commenting on drafts of proposed tax guidance and the like. It would be an interesting project in and of itself, mapping out and connecting areas of interest and expertise that are currently excluded from the established network of government-run tax policy institutions and otherwise fragmented by geography, resources, and institutions.

Coincidentally, after I recently posted a comment on twitter about how the US could take unilateral measures to curb global tax avoidance if it chose to do so, fellow twitterer @hselftax wrote, "the #AdoptanMP campaign aims to give tech tax info to UK MPs. Perhaps you need #AdoptASenator in US?" Fascinating idea! Here is a website that talks about it.

How might such a program be built transnationally and tailored to tax collaboration on request? It would need to be voluntary on both sides--i.e., folks who self identify areas they would be willing to consult on, together with disclosure of credentials and affiliations, and revenue officials who identify areas in which they are seeking outside expertise. Does such a platform already exist, i..e, on LinkedIn or elsewhere? Is there an app for this? I know that the OECD has created tax inspectors without borders, but what I have in mind is a slightly different model than official-to-official consultation.

Measuring Corporate Tax Incidence: Update from the Joint Committee on Tax

The JCT released a report yesterday laying out its new method for measuring corporate tax incidence, Modeling The Distribution Of Taxes On Business Income (JCX-14-13).  The paper begins with a nice summary of the literature to date, and lays out the JCT's decision to assume that in the short run the incidence of corporate tax is fully on capital owners but in the long run (assumed to be reached by the end of a ten year analysis period), owners can shift 25% of the tax to domestic labor. Current Treasury practice assumes an 82/18 split. JCT explains its methodology and provides "illustrative examples", so the report is worth reading in full, but here are a few excerpts of note:
The Joint Committee staff has refrained from estimating the distribution of changes to the taxation of corporate income.... Past decisions not to estimate the distribution of taxes on corporations and passthrough entities were the result both of uncertainties among economists regarding the appropriate incidence of business taxes and to data limitations which made it impractical to distribute such taxes in the timeframe necessary to fit the legislative schedule. However, the economic literature has continued to advance. The Joint Committee staff believes that public finance economists now have a better understanding of, and can more appropriately measure, the incidence of taxes on business income. ... In addition, more detailed data and faster computing speeds help make timely completion of such distributional effects more feasible. 
...The debate over the incidence of corporate income taxes is ongoing, with a range of estimates on the precise breakdown depending on the assumptions of underlying models. Nevertheless, the existing research has arrived on two clear points of consensus. One is that the burden of the corporate income tax falls largely on domestic individuals, and therefore the corporate income tax does impact the well-being of these individuals. The second is that the burden of corporate income taxes is not borne entirely by capital owners, and is instead shared between capital owners and labor with the share borne by each being the subject of ongoing debate. 
...In the very short run, the incidence of business tax changes should fall entirely on the holders of the existing capital stock and bond holders. ... [I]n the long run owners of domestic capital are more easily able to escape some of the burden of the tax so business taxes are at least partially passed on to labor. ... 
The new methods ... reflect the current understanding in the economics profession that domestic individuals ultimately bear the majority of the burden of these taxes. Given the general economic consensus that these taxes should be distributed to individuals, the Joint Committee staff believes that estimating the distribution is appropriate. In the short run the new method distributes 100 percent of both types of taxes to owners of capital. In the long run it distributes 75 percent of corporate income taxes and 95 percent of the taxes attributable to passthrough business income to owners of capital. 
A portion of capital’s share of the corporate tax burden is borne by international capital owners, so in both the short run and the long run the distribution of tax burdens borne by domestic owners of capital is less than the burden borne by all capital owners. The portion of the corporate income tax burden borne by foreign capital owners is not distributed to domestic individuals on tax distribution tables. The remainder of the tax burden that is not distributed to foreign and domestic capital owners is distributed to labor, reflecting the compensation adjustment that results from corporate income taxes reducing the after-tax revenue that each worker generates for his firm. 
Given no definitive economic literature on the duration of the short run, the Joint Committee staff generally assumes that the long run is reached by the end of the 10-year budget window. These distributions between capital and labor reflect the middle of the range of estimates for distributing business taxes in the economic literature. The Joint Committee staff will use the updated distribution methods in this report to estimate tax distributions for all future estimates of the distribution of Federal income taxes. The Joint Committee staff will continue to evaluate and refine this approach to be consistent with new research findings as they arise. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Shutdown and a Tea Party Tax Paradigm Shift: Guest Post by Marco Garofalo

One of the many benefits of hosting a tax policy colloquium is that the students become deeply engaged in grappling with tax policy principles through contemporary scholarship, and they apply these ideas to the world in which they find themselves. After our recent presentations by Reuven Avi-Yonah on the shifting pressures of globalization on the tax base, by Clifton Fleming on the politics of tax expenditure analysis, and by Lyne LaTulippe on the topic of tax competition, in which she introduced us to work by the political scientist Mark Blyth, one of my students came back with the following analysis of tax politics in the US, and he agreed to share it here.

Government Shutdown and a Tea Party-Induced Tax Policy Paradigm Shift in the United States

A paradigm shift in tax policy may be unfolding in the United States, as the Tea Party positions itself differently than either the Democrats or the Republicans when it comes to important aspects of tax policy processes and practices.  In a recent article, "Paradigms and Paradox: The Politics of Economic Ideas in Two Moments of Crisis," Mark Blyth investigated why we did not see a paradigm shift in economic policy after the financial crisis of 2008. He argues that paradigm shifts are usually:
  1. triggered by failures in the current paradigm; 
  2. accompanied by a new paradigm that is waiting in the wings to replace the current one; and 
  3. driven by a change in who can speak authoritatively on the subject.
He concluded that “it is politics, not economics, and it is authority, not facts, that matter for both paradigm maintenance and change.” Consequently, he argues that we did not see a paradigm shift after the financial crisis for a few reasons. First, even though there was a failure of the current paradigm, there was no challenger waiting to replace it. To illustrate his point, Blyth suggests that it was inconceivable that the Washington Consensus would be replaced by the Beijing Consensus, “so complete was its initial victory.” Second, the sudden policy failure did not result in a change of who speaks authoritatively on the subject, as protagonists did not change (individuals in the US Treasury, the ECB, and the IMF all retained their authority) and thus their solutions did not either. Blyth calls this ‘disciplinary incentive’; in other words, “too many careers and institutions are at stake!” Thus the financial crisis did not spur a paradigm shift.

But consider the Tea Party and its crusade. Since 2009, the Tea Party has been an unavoidable presence in US politics. While the Tea Party story has many permutations, causes, and manifestations, only the current government shutdown is important for the purposes of the current discussion. The current shutdown is not about Republicans versus Democrats; it is about the Tea Party versus Republicans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in Congress, was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States, and its funding was not seriously contested by the Republican Party. This is an artificial crisis, a main architect of which appears to be Jim DeMint, former US Senator and current President of the Heritage Foundation.  If non-Tea Party GOP members do not want to play along, the implicit threat, according to Joshua Green of Bloomberg Businessweek, is that the Tea Party will turn on them, such as by launching “attack ads calling [Republican Senator Mitch] McConnell a ‘turncoat’ who ‘surrendered to Barack Obama’ in the healthcare fight."  So far, the Tea Party is pulling off this political coup: the government is shut down and positions are becoming entrenched.

Now consider this political impasse as a paradigm shift. First, we have a failure in the current paradigm (even though it is artificial). Joshua Green argues that “What’s causing the malfunction is a battle within the GOP.”  Second, we have a paradigm waiting in the wings to replace the current one. In fact, the Tea Party is not so much waiting to replace the Republicans as forcing that to happen. Third, the loci of authority in the Republican Party are shifting, either to Tea Party members or to the remaining GOP members who agree to change their tune. Hence we may see a paradigm shift, in which the Tea Party becomes the dominant faction in the Republican Party, resulting in a recalibration of the Democrat-Republican relationship.

Such a paradigm shift would have serious implications for tax policy. At least two would arise immediately, in the areas of tax expenditure analysis and tax consultations. First, tax expenditure analysis may begin to play a greater role. While the Republicans and Democrats function largely by dressing government spending as tax credits and deductions, the Tea Party is having none of that. The prime example would be the current crisis. The current government shutdown is itself a tax issue: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, SCOTUS cogently reminds us, is a piece of tax policy. If the Tea Party does become the dominant Republican faction, then tax expenditure analysis may take center stage as a tool to sniff out government spending in all of its forms.

Second, the structure and content of tax consultations could change. Professor LaTulippe argues that international tax policy is beholden to a discourse of competitiveness (draft forthcoming). While part of the competitiveness discourse is about low rates, which the Tea Party presumably likes, part of the discourse is about tax expenditures, which the Tea Party would not like. Currently, tax consultations perpetuate this discourse by giving short time frames for the private sector to contribute to proposed tax reforms, with the result that a certain class of participants (accountants and lawyers) is greatly advantaged in giving feedback and achieving client-favored tax policy results. With the Tea Party paradigm, that policy loop could be disrupted, as this recent article suggests.

A paradigm shift in US politics is not certain. Any number of things could happen, including the Republican Party standing up to and beating the Tea Party. If that were to happen, then tax policy commentators should be concerned about the issues described above. Maybe once the dust settles we will meet the new boss, same as the old boss. But the current government shutdown (and impending sovereign debt default deadline) exhibits signs of a paradigm shift.  Something fundamental does seem to be changing on the small government side of political discourse. As such, we should stay tuned to the implications for tax policy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Morriss and Freyer: Creating Cayman as an Offshore Financial Center

Andrew Morriss and Tony Freyer recently posted an article, "Creating Cayman as an Offshore Financial Center: Structure and Strategy Since 1960," in which they trace the development of the fiscal regime that made the Caymans the tax haven everyone loves to hate. The authors document the regime's roots in intense and purposeful transnational collaboration between British and Cayman government officials and private sector professionals. Like Morriss' previous work with Craig Boise on the Netherlands Antilles, this is a well-researched account of the political, institutional, social, and cultural factors at work in tax competition, and a must-read for everyone working on international tax policy issues.  From the abstract:
The Cayman Islands are one of the world's leading offshore financial centers (OFCs). Their development from a barter economy in 1960 to a leading OFC for the location of hedge funds, captive insurance companies, yacht registrations, special purpose vehicles, and international banking today was the result of a collaborative policy making process that involved local leaders, expatriate professionals, and British officials. Over several decades, Cayman created a political system that enabled it to successfully compete in world financial markets for transactions, participate in major international efforts to control financial crimes, and avoid the political, economic, racial, and social problems that plague many of its Caribbean neighbors. Using archival sources, participant interviews, and a wide range of other materials, this Article describes how the collaborative policy making process developed over time and discusses the implications of Cayman's success for financial reform efforts today.
There is so much in the paper it is difficult to extract effectively but he conclusion sums things up well:
Understanding how constitutional structure shaped the history of the Cayman financial center offers a response to critics’ preoccupation with actual or imagined abuses. OFC critics generally ignore the role of the United States and European nations in tax avoidance policies used by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals and those nations’ own roles as tax havens. ...  
The Cayman global competitive advantage thus did not originate in corrupt practices; it grew instead, from a history of social and constitutional stability sustaining collaborative policymaking among elected officials, legal professionals, and UK and Cayman civil service authorities like CIMA. 
... There is no question that the UK, the EU, and the United States have the power to [eliminate Cayman's tax policy autonomy] if they chose to do so. But if international relations are more than the exertion of brute force, there are important issues that need to be addressed in the development of international financial law with respect to OFCs. This requires broadly inclusive international consultations, not narrow efforts at defining best practices through rich nations’ clubs like the OECD or unilateral, asymmetric measures like the United States’ efforts through FATCA to force other countries to comply with U.S. regulatory measures. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Tomorrow at McGill Law: Lyne LaTulippe presents on Tax Competition

The 4th Annual Tax Policy Colloquium at McGill Law continues Monday with a presentation by Professor Lyne LaTulippe of the Université de Sherbrooke, on a paper entitled "Public consultations framed within a competitiveness discourse." The paper examines the rhetorical and political power of the competitiveness motif in domestic tax policy-making processes, using two specific tax reform episodes in Canada and Australia as case studies of the institutional and political landscape. The author finds that competitiveness in taxation has become a dominant meme, crowding out alternative policy goals and narrowing democratic participation in the process.

The McGill Tax Policy Colloquium features distinguished visiting academics and offers a forum for students, professors, and local practitioners to discuss issues of tax policy and theory, along with related issues of economics and social justice.

Professor LaTulippe's talk is scheduled to commence at 2:30 pm tomorrow; members of the public are warmly welcomed.

 Location: McGill Faculty of Law, 3644 Peel Street, New Chancellor Day Hall, Room 203.
 Time: Monday, 7 October, 14:30–16:30.