Distributive Justice in International Tax Law

Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2021-02

Final publication as "Tax Justice Beyond National Borders – International or Interpersonal?", Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 2021, https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqab026 (open access)

Posted: 28 Jul 2021 Last revised: 14 Oct 2021

See all articles by Johanna Stark

Johanna Stark

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance

Date Written: February 16, 2021

Abstract

Recent times have seen growing calls for considerations of justice to be given a greater role in international tax law. The main driver of these calls are distributive concerns, although agreement is still missing as to what this means in terms of both principle and practice. This article asks whether it is the task of international tax law at all to implement principles of distributive justice beyond the national context and gives an overview of how the ‘global justice debate’ in contemporary moral and political philosophy bears on this question. With regard to the more specific question of whether some states are, as a matter of distributive justice in particular, under a duty to agree to a redistribution of taxing rights to other states, the paper argues that it is crucial to differentiate between the collective level inhabited by states and international institutions on one hand, and individuals on the other. Absent a robust assumption of a benevolent and capable government on the recipient side, the reallocation of taxing rights from state to state does not necessarily help when it comes to fulfilling duties of justice towards individuals.

Keywords: Taxation, Distributive Justice, International Taxation, Global Justice, Legal Philosophy

JEL Classification: K34, H87

Suggested Citation

Stark, Johanna, Distributive Justice in International Tax Law (February 16, 2021). Working Paper of the Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance No. 2021-02, Final publication as "Tax Justice Beyond National Borders – International or Interpersonal?", Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 2021, https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqab026 (open access) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3894829

Johanna Stark (Contact Author)

Max Planck Institute for Tax Law and Public Finance ( email )

Marstallplatz 1
Munich, 80539
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.tax.mpg.de/en/business_and_tax_law/business_and_tax_taw_people/dr_johanna_stark.html

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