Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Kimberley Brooks (Dean, Dalhousie University, Schulich School of Law), After the Financial Crisis (reviewing Richard Eccleston (University of Tasmania), The Dynamics of Global Economic Governance: The Financial Crisis, the OECD and the Politics of International Tax Cooperation (2012)):
[The book] is a welcome addition to the literature on the regulatory responses to international tax evasion, authored in the light of the global financial crisis. Richard Eccleston, a political scientist in Tasmania, shifts the typical legal scholar’s lens from the legal frameworks that facilitate tax evasion to a careful and insightful exploration or the role of political actors in facilitating tax cooperation in response to that evasion. The work is supported by interviews with more than 40 national tax officials, business and NGO representatives, OECD and UN staff.
Global Economic Governance is written for tax junkies. It is shot through with detail, carefully crafted, and densely written. For those with a mild interest in the area, the chapter to spend time on is the first one, and most specifically the section that details the strategies used in international tax evasion: private banking, mass-marketed tax schemes, opaque corporate structures, shell entities, trusts, rules that obscure real ownership, methods of disguising real corporate ownership, and exempt entities. This reads like the stuff of a good (or perhaps average) Tom Cruise movie: nevertheless, it is daily fare for those who seek to avoid tax liability around the world.