Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Haslehner Presents Tax Competition: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Tomorrow At Indiana

Werner Haslehner (ATOZ Chair for European and International Taxation, University of Luxembourg) presents Tax Competition — the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly at Indiana tomorrow as part of its Tax Policy Colloquium Series hosted by Leandra Lederman:

HaslenherInternational tax competition is a key driver of domestic tax policy, regional harmonisation and global coordination efforts. There is broad political consensus that tax competition ought to be reined in, while it is equally frequently argued that countries need to “stay competitive”.

This apparent paradoxical stance of supporting and combatting tax competition is regularly resolved by adding the label “harmful” to describe censured tax measures. Yet this label is ill defined and ultimately inadequate to assess tax policy choices.

The paper analyses the positive and negative aspects of tax competition and proposes an alternative and more appropriate delineation of “good” and “bad” tax competition that is based on a consideration of the ethics of State action and more adequate to protect the “dignity of states”.

The identification of “unfair tax competition” starts from a reformulation of Kant’s categorical imperative for State action, arguing that no State should enact policies the implementation of which would have no conceivable benefit if they were universally adopted.

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