Friday, May 22, 2020
Luis C. Calderon Gomez (J.D. 2019, Yale; Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York), Transcending Tax Sovereignty and Tax Standardization: Three Questions, 45 Yale J. Int'l L. 191 (2020):
The Panama and Paradise Papers shocked the world by displaying the extent to which tax avoidance and evasion were running amok. Estimates of tax avoidance and evasion facilitated by tax havens and tax competition differ, but most agree that tax avoidance and evasion are significant and are of the order of tens of billions of U.S. dollars. But, the world has changed since then for both corporate and individual taxpayers. Corporate income tax rates keep dropping, with "business friendly" tax reforms sprouting everywhere, most prominently through the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act ("TCJA") in the United States in 2017. Emerging global information-sharing regimes like the OECD's Common Reporting Standard ("CRS") are under implementation in Switzerland, Panama, and Singapore. At the same time, global pressure against tax havens is at all-time highs. The European Union is weaponizing its strong antitrust laws and the state aid doctrine against members' aggressive tax practices. Moreover, States seem to be cooperating on a global scale pursuant to the OECD's recent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ("BEPS") initiative.
While international taxation has been the subject of intense academic and policy examination, scholars have ignored how these phenomena evidence a broad push towards standardization taking place around the world.