Public tax debate lacks balanced middle ground, observers say

Popular debate on tax issues is still highly polarised, and confidential discussions have not done enough to “heal the divide” and create a technically sound middle ground of debate, according to tax and development researchers.

“There seems to be a dysfunctional quality to modern popular tax debates where, despite significant expansion of the scope of discussions and the actors involved, the middle ground remains dangerously unoccupied,” Maya Forstater, a visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development, and Rasmus Christensen, a PhD fellow at Copenhagen Business School, said in a draft paper seen by Tax Analysts …

The paper identified a historically weak link between the “technical debate” and the “political debate” on tax, noting that a community of officials, practitioners, and researchers has been “far removed from public attention.” But as tax has moved up the political agenda, connections have emerged between the two debates. Governments, civil society organisations, corporate leaders, and tax professionals have become more engaged. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, June 29 (paywall)