Shaping International Tax Law and Policy in Challenging Times

19 Pages Posted: 30 Aug 2018

Date Written: 2018


This Article was prepared for a symposium on 'What's Law Got Do To With It? Examining the Role of Law in a Changing World.' The OECD and G20 Base Erosion and Profits (BEPS) project represents the most comprehensive global cooperative effort to date to inhibit aggressive international tax planning and offshore tax evasion — along with related revenue losses. This cooperation promotes agreement on the underlying tax rules that govern cross-border transactions and reduces tax as a barrier to international trade and investment, hence improving global welfare. It remains unclear, however, whether ongoing cooperative solutions outside of tax administration will curtail perceived problems in any significant sense. Moreover, global political trends, including anti-globalization, nationalism, and populism — along with the rise of countries historically left off the bargaining table — make progress through international cooperation even more elusive. As a result of these forces, governments should continue to cooperate at the global level on tax administration agreements while simultaneously pursuing needed substantive tax and corporate law reforms at the national level.

Keywords: tax law, international tax, information exchange, offshore tax evasion, aggressive international tax planning

JEL Classification: F23, F39, K34, M40

Suggested Citation

Cockfield, Arthur, Shaping International Tax Law and Policy in Challenging Times (2018). Stanford Journal of International Law Vol. 54, p. 223, Available at SSRN:

Arthur Cockfield (Contact Author)

Queen's University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Macdonald Hall
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6 K7L3N6

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