No one country can solve this global problem. Tax competition proliferates, with the benefits of tax cooperation too often ignored. At national level, poorly designed, often inequitable, tax systems and weak tax administrations are common.
This exacerbates problems raising revenue, prevents governments delivering public services and aggravates social and economic inequalities. The lack of financial and fiscal transparency facilitates harmful corporate tax practices as well as corruption and criminality. The weak social contract and general public apathy means citizens are not calling for fiscal reforms.
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The lack of capacity, knowledge and collective action of civil society, as well as poor understanding of illicit financial flows and significant impacts of secrecy, all remain barriers to action in this area. Generally global governance trends improve in the coming decade, as opposed to countries becoming more isolationist; Countries come together to proactively solve international taxation problems, rather than favouring heightened tax competition; DRM and financing the SDGs remain a critical element of the international development agenda; Democratization and efforts to improve governance and accountability continue to advance in developing countries and trends towards autocracy and dictatorship are not widespread.
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Global Tax Governance
Pathways to Change. The Tax Ecosystem. Transparency and Accountability Initiative TAI members are committed to being transparent about not just what they fund, but why. This site is a resource for the members themselves, but hopefully also for other funders and organizations working on tax issues. There is the trade component … When you talk about tax or trade, you are up against very powerful forces.
In poor countries, corporate taxes can fund education and healthcare, pay for roads and railways and increase gender equality. Aggressive tax avoidance is not just a problem for developing countries.
There is a heightened awareness in Europe and elsewhere of the millions lost because of complex tax deals and havens. The decade-defining refugee crisis , mainly due to the war in Syria, has also focused minds on international and domestic needs for additional financing. Ryding says she has noticed more civil servants speaking in favour of an intergovernmental tax body, but the official EU position has not shifted.
Global tax governance in the G20 and the OECD: What can be done?
One long-standing obstacle to global tax reform is the way countries compete with each other to offer preferential tax deals in order to attract investment from multinationals. Mwambwa says African countries have realised they can combat this by working together, and are doing so through regional bodies such as the East African Community and the African Tax Administration Forum.
Given the powerful vested interests involved, Mwambwa says civil society has a key role to play in demanding reforms. Citizens need to get involved.
Research - University of Bamberg
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