Thursday, July 10, 2008

Research workshop papers

The Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs, which hosts the Offshore Watch site, held a most successful conference at Essex University in the UK on July 3-4, in partnership with the Tax Justice Network and the Centre for Global Accountability. The papers are available here.

The papers are as follows (click on the hyperlinks, where possible, to access the papers.) Some of these papers will be summarised in the forthcoming edition of Tax Justice Focus.

Philip Sarre, Open University
The geography of international financial flows.
Geographers should take more interest in the effects of the international financial system. Penetration of OFC and TNC secrecy would be a useful first step, which would also allow more accurate documentation of financial flows.

Kevin Jestin (Assistant professor Aix-Marseille)
Mutual assistance has developed alongside International Fiscal Law, through conventions to avoid double taxation and tax avoidance and evasion, a process in which international organizations have gone to considerable effort to encourage collaboration among domestic tax administrations through different agreements, but what are the trends and challenges in this difficult process? No link yet.
Alex Cobham, Professor Valpy Fitzgerald and John Roche
Demonstrating the state of play of the international tax research database they are currently developing, and bringing us up to date on the development of the Plato Index. No link yet.

Owolabi M Bakre, University of Essex
“Looting by the Ruling Elites, Multinational Corporations and the Accountants: The Genesis of Indebtedness, Poverty and Underdevelopment of Nigeria” Any genuine efforts to control corruption in developing countries in general and Nigeria in particular must involve an effective legislation that prosecutes the erring local elite, politician, public officials; tames the excessiveness of the Western economic powers-based multinational corporations and sanctions the professional misconduct of accountants.

Alex Cobham (Christian Aid)
This paper questions whether it matters where money comes from and finds it does; money raised from taxation is good for governance. But what does this mean for development policy and practice, particularly for an international charity that supports southern organisations? This paper, based on literature analysis, internal debate and inputs from partner experience, delves into this debate. No link available.

Lauren Damme, Tiffany Misrahi, Stepanie Orel, LSE
Taxation Policy in Developing Countries: What is the IMF’s Involvement?
Over the past three decades, the IMF has been heavily involved in the tax reforms of less developed countries. The standard prescription of the IMF is fewer taxes, fewer rates, fewer exemptions and the implementation of the Value Added Tax (VAT) while avoiding corruption. This paper questions whether this is the right prescription for the South and whether sufficient transparency exists within the IMF process for alternative opinion to be considered.

Andy Wynne
Are public sector accounting and auditing standards discouraging progressive taxation and public investment in developing countries?

Nicholas Shaxson, Associate Fellow, Chatham House, consultant to TJN
“Oil For the People: A Solution to the “Resource Curse”
The notion that mineral-dependent countries like Angola or Iraq are afflicted by a “Resource Curse” is now well established in academic literature. To address this, a more radical approach must now be pushed forwards: distribute mineral revenues directly and equally to all of a country’s citizens, then tax the population directly. This paper will make the case for Direct Distribution, address the objections that have been raised, explore strategies for putting it into place, and propose that organisations such as the Tax Justice Network actively promote it.

Thomas Rixen, Social Science Research Center Berlin, WZB
The Double Tax Avoidance Regime as Institutional Foundation of Tax Competition. Governments will only be able to realize their policy goals if they give up at least part of their formal tax sovereignty. Unitary taxation with formula apportionment is one possible solution.

Loren Ponds, Universität Hamburg

Resolving Multilateral Tax Treaty Disputes: (In)competent Authority in the 21st Century. (Slides) Is there a better way to negotiate the outcome of the disputes and what changes are needed to allow this to happen?

Jim Stewart, Trinity College, Dublin
Low tax Financial Centres and the Subprime Crisis: The IFSC in Ireland.
Financial centres such as the IFSC, Dublin and Jersey have two distinct but associated features: low tax and light touch regulation. Such centres have encouraged the emergence of the 'shadow banking system', with all the harmful consequences that we observe. These centres are not transparent in terms of their activities. Despite the fact that many of the hedge and other funds that have got into difficulties are 'based' in the IFSC in Dublib, this fact is rarely mentioned in news and other reports. Even where banks have faced a credit crisis because of their Irish operations, such as IKB based in Germany, the connection with the IFSC is rarely mentioned, or the relatively low level of regulation of such entities at the IFSC. This paper explores this issue.


Anonymous Paper Research said...

Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.

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