Midas’ gift means death: Tax dodging is the biggest obstacle for global justice


Tax havens and tax secrecy have risen to the top of the global policy agenda and may constitute the most important impediment for reducing inequalities. Moreover, complex corporate structures allow charging for services undertaken in various countries through one low-tax country. Transferring profits to low-tax jurisdictions will significantly reduce a multinational corporation’s overall tax burden. Individuals are assisted in opening shell corporations that officially own bank accounts where the real owner (beneficial owner) is not revealed. Reducing this practice of tax dodging (which encompasses both legal tax avoidance and illegal tax evasion) has proven to be difficult, despite substantial efforts by several international organizations and states over the last decade. It is too easy to be removed from the list of tax havens; mere membership in OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes qualifies. Tax dodgers add to global inequalities and severely weaken states’ capacity to undertake their task of creating a solid tax base, embedded in the principle that all actors are taxed according to the income generated in each country. A weak tax base will lead to less trust, more violence and more deaths.

Keywords: country-by-country reporting, EU, OECD, tax avoidance, tax evasion, tax havens


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Author Biography

Hans Morten Haugen, From 1 August 2016: Faculty of Theology, Diakonia and Leadership Studies VID Specialized University Campus Oslo
Professor of International Diakonia
How to Cite
Haugen, H. M. (2018). Midas’ gift means death: Tax dodging is the biggest obstacle for global justice. Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, 12(1), 43-60. https://doi.org/10.5324/eip.v12i1.1991
Artikler - Articles