Tax experts ‘shaped’ transparency debate, campaigners told

Business tax experts’ dominant role in consultations on measures to counter base erosion and profit shifting shaped a key debate on tax transparency, raising questions about inclusiveness and the formulation of policy, according to research presented to the Tax Justice Network.

Professionals played a central role in shaping the BEPS policy environment and process, according to a draft research paper presented by Rasmus Christensen, PhD fellow at Copenhagen Business School, at the Tax Justice Network’s annual conference in London July 5.

Christensen concluded that, operating within a technical policy environment “far removed” from high-level politics, “professionals seeking to make their mark on new standards for corporate tax transparency mobilised expertise and network capital, shaping what could be discussed, the criteria for accepted arguments, and who was listened to in the policy process, thus critically affecting the final policy outcomes.” His investigation is part of the Horizon 2020 program COFFERS, an EU-funded collaboration of universities and civil society organisations. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, July 7 (paywall)

Rasmus Christensen’s draft paper: Professional Competition in Global Tax Reform: Transparency in Global Wealth Chains