Tax Activists and the Global Movement for Development Through Transparency

Tax Law and Development, Miranda Stewart, Yariv Brauner, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012

15 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2012 Last revised: 15 Nov 2016

Allison Christians

McGill University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 26, 2012

Abstract

Activists around the world seek to expose a global system that fails to tax multinationals adequately and thus deprives governments of needed revenues, with profound effects for development in the world's poorest nations. These tax activists have sparked a global movement, with groups all over the world seeking progress for development in poor countries by demanding greater transparency about how and how much multinational companies pay taxes. In their quest for tax transparency, the activists are inserting themselves in an elite policy-making arena that has traditionally been closed both to them and to the governments of poor countries. Their demand for a voice in global tax policy decision-making makes a claim that the individuals and leaders that are currently involved in tax policy governance cannot be counted on to concentrate on distributing the tax burden in a way that comports with broader social values. In seeking such a voice, the activists will face enormous challenges and vigorous opposition. The alternative is acquiescence to a global status quo with which fewer and fewer are satisfied, a status quo that includes severe strains on governments and growing pressure on social systems in rich as well as poor countries. In this context, tax transparency seems a plausible starting point in the quest to understand and empower the engines of economic development and prosperity throughout the world.

Keywords: tax policy, development, transparency, social movement, institutions, international law, protest, activism, multinational, corporate law, securities regulation, disclosure, corporate tax returns, confidentiality, privacy, publish what you pay, country-by-country reporting, transfer pricing, informat

JEL Classification: D8, D82, F23, L71, L72, K22, E62, H2, H23, H25, H26, K33, K34, A13, D7, D71, D73, D78, M1, M14

Suggested Citation

Christians, Allison, Tax Activists and the Global Movement for Development Through Transparency (March 26, 2012). Tax Law and Development, Miranda Stewart, Yariv Brauner, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2029055

Allison Christians (Contact Author)

McGill University - Faculty of Law ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5
Canada

Paper statistics

Downloads
403
Rank
58,573
Abstract Views
2,059