Date: Monday 27 – Wednesday 29 September 2021

Mode: Online

In recent years, a significant body of academic research in taxation has focused on the analysis of global tax evasion and tax avoidance as a source of fiscal and distributional predicament. Novel sources of information, such as the disclosure of leaked documents on hidden wealth (e.g. the Panama papers) and on tax avoidance practices by certain firms and wealthy individuals, as well as, new reporting requirements, have increased public awareness of the potential magnitude of tax revenue losses. In response, researchers have made increasing use of this evidence, generating theoretical and empirical findings on the role of tax havens and of tax avoidance schemes.

In the policy sphere, global efforts to modernise international corporate tax rules have accelerated. Mandated by the G20, the OECD has led discussions to reform the global corporate tax framework, within an Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) involving 139 countries. In early July, after years of negotiations, the overwhelming majority of the Inclusive Framework members have reached an agreement on the main elements of Pillar 1 (partial re-allocation of taxing rights) and Pillar 2 (the establishment of a minimum effective taxation of multinationals’ profits), subsequently endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers on 9 July in Venice. Discussions on the remaining elements are going on, in view of finalising the agreement in the coming months. Other notable international actions in recent years include the automatic exchange of taxpayer information and the disclosure of multinational corporate activities by country of operation. At EU level, the European Commission has taken important steps towards a fairer and more transparent corporate tax system, by adopting a number of measures and making proposals to fight tax fraud and tax evasion. These include the creation of a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, the adoption and implementation of Anti-Tax Avoidance Directives and Directives on Administrative Cooperation, and the adoption of country-specific recommendations in order to tackle aggressive tax planning and improve the efficiency and fairness of tax systems. Last May, the Commission adopted a Communication on “Business Taxation for the 21st century”, setting out both a long-term vision to provide a fair and sustainable business environment and EU tax system and a tax agenda for the next two years, with targeted measures that promote productive investment and entrepreneurship and ensure effective taxation. This agenda complements the ongoing global discussion on corporate taxation and provides solutions to the most pressing problems for the EU in business taxation today, while also supporting the green and digital transitions. Finally, EU initiatives were complemented in June 2021 by an agreement on the public disclosure of country-by-country operations by multinational companies.

Overall, this conference brings together representatives from international institutions, academics, journalists, and politicians working on tax evasion and tax avoidance. The conference seeks to provide a space to discuss the latest policy developments complemented with the latest research, in order to share opinions on policy proposals and generate novel ideas.

Further information available here.

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