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Exploiting Form in Avoidance by International Tax Arbitrage – Arguments Towards a Unifying Hypothesis of Taxation Law

Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 8-14, January/February 2011

Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 11/2011

8 Pages Posted: 20 Jul 2011 Last revised: 5 Apr 2015

John Prebble QC

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law; Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien; University of Notre Dame Australia - School of Law

Date Written: January/February 2011

Abstract

This article, which is based on the inaugral address given at the IBFD Tax Lecture Series in Beijing, China, examines the basic foundations and nature of income tax law before going on to offer a unifying theory of taxation law.

Income tax law is notoriously complex for a range of reasons. One is that tax law must address a huge and never-ending range of business transactions and structures. Another is that governments adulterate tax systems by using them to promote or to manage all sorts of economic and social programmes from mineral exploitation to birth control. Often we cannot tell whether a particular complexity is inherent in tax law or results from exogenous causes. The result is that we fail to see the fundamental causes of the complexity of tax law.

The author’s hypothesis is that since about 1960 there has been a steady move in countries’ appoach to tax law from normative to factual analysis. Often, this change reflects a move from form to substance.

Keywords: income tax, tax reform, normative analysis, tax law, tax avoidance, international tax arbitrage, form and substance

JEL Classification: K33, K34

Suggested Citation

Prebble QC, John, Exploiting Form in Avoidance by International Tax Arbitrage – Arguments Towards a Unifying Hypothesis of Taxation Law (January/February 2011). Asia-Pacific Tax Bulletin, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 8-14, January/February 2011; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 11/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1869364

John Prebble QC (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand
+64 4 463 6311 (Phone)
Papers Indexed at HOME PAGE (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.victoria.ac.nz/law/staff/prebble-scholarly.aspx

Institut für Österreichisches und Internationales Steuerrecht, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

University of Notre Dame Australia - School of Law

Sydney Campus, New South Wales
Australia

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