I am pleased to accept the invitation to join the prestigious Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) as a Commissioner in an honorary capacity.
I look forward to working alongside the prominent economists and tax experts on ICRICT, including its Chair José Antonio Ocampo, and its Commissioners Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Piketty, Gabriel Zucman, among others.
ICRICT is a high-level advocacy group which promotes justice in corporate taxation. Its objectives include ending the global race to the bottom on tax by rewriting international rules to ensure corporations can’t avoid paying their fair share.
The race to the bottom on corporate tax threatens the capacity of governments in both the developed and developing world to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the UN in 2015.
The SDGs aim to reduce inequality through higher economic growth with access to quality jobs, health and education. The SDGs recognise that taxation is one of the keys to a successful society.
The existing system of international taxation is increasingly serving the wealthy few. Moves to slash the corporate tax rate in Australia, following the Trump corporate tax cuts in the United States, will turbocharge inequality and entrench the power of the wealthy elite.
Tax avoidance and evasion is a critical driver of growing global wealth and income inequality. It eats away at the foundations of trust in corporate behaviour and it pushes up tax rates for people on modest incomes.
The OECD conservatively estimates that base erosion and profit shifting leads to revenue losses worldwide of between $100 billion and $240 billion annually, which robs governments of the revenue required to provide public goods that support strong and durable growth.
Tax avoidance and evasion on such a grand scale impoverishes us all. When companies fail to pay their fair share of tax, revenue must be found elsewhere – from other businesses or from individual taxpayers. The billions of dollars extracted are forever lost to investment in health, education and employment, which are vital for productivity growth and a better quality of life for all.
More effective taxation of corporate profits, as championed by ICRICT, strengthens domestic economies, promotes social justice and fosters international development.
ICRICT has already published a number of papers, including A Roadmap to Improve Rules for Taxing Multinationals which recommends a global minimum corporate tax rate and rejects the fiction of “arm’s-length” transactions which encourage transfer pricing within multinational enterprises.
My appointment to ICRICT builds on and complements my position as Chair of the Eminent Expert Group on Tax Policies and Public Expenditure Management for Sustainable Development, advising UN‑ESCAP.
I look forward to contributing to ICRICT’s objectives and to engaging our local community in this important debate.
ICRICT’s website can be found at: www.icrict.com
A full list of Commissioners can be found at: https://www.icrict.com/the-commission/
Recent ICRICT reports include:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]A Roadmap to Improve Rules for Taxing Multinationals: https://www.icrict.com/icrict-documents-a-fairer-future-for-global-taxation
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Four Ways to Tackle International Tax Competition: https://www.icrict.com/icrict-documentsfour-ways-to-tackle