The International Tax Regime: Historical Evolution and Political Change
40 Pages Posted: 1 Sep 2012
Date Written: June 1, 2012
The international regime or “transnational legal order” (TLO) (Shaffer & Halliday this volume) of taxation consists of a body of multilateral, bilateral, and unilateral hard and soft laws regulating the tax treatment of cross-border economic activities, especially investment activities. The chapter reconstructs the dynamics of change of this TLO since its creation in the 1920s. Taking a diachronic perspective, it shows how the initial success of the TLO in establishing a settled normative order for avoiding the international double taxation of cross-border economic activities unintentionally created the follow-up problem of international tax competition. This triggered a new cycle of transnational legal ordering that challenged the initial settlement. The result is a TLO covering more issues at lower levels of normative settlement and with lower issue alignment.
Keywords: double taxation, tax competition, OECD, international organization, institutional change
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