The UK's Tax Treaties with Developing Countries During the 1970s
Martin Hearson, 2017. Chapter 13 (pp. 363-381) in Peter Harris and Dominic de Cogan (eds). Studies in the History of Tax Law, Volume 8. Hart Publishing, Oxford, UK
16 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2017
Date Written: August 10, 2017
Developing countries face three main challenges in international tax cooperation. The most widely known is the twin problems of tax avoidance by foreign investors and tax evasion by domestic actors, which have become a major focus of debate in international organisations and of civil society activism in recent years. The second problem, tax competition, incorporates a range of issues from the ‘prisoners’ dilemma’ facing countries competing for inward direct investment through to the harmful tax rules used by tax havens that enable tax avoidance and evasion. This article reviews four recent monographs that analyse these problems at an international level. While they contain much useful discussion of the problems and potential technical solutions, there remains a need for political economy research to understand why certain technical solutions have not been adopted by governments. A third challenge faced by developing countries, barely considered in the tax and development literature up to now, leads to a note of caution: international tax institutions tend to be designed in ways that place disproportionate restrictions on capital-importing countries’ ability to tax foreign investors.
Keywords: tax, double taxation, foreign direct investment, multinational companies, United Kingdom, developing countries
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