Josephine van der Have
Titel onderzoek: Fair Taxation: a Trade Mark in the Battle against Tax Avoidance
Josephine van der Have is a fulltime PhD Candidate at Leiden University. Her research is part of the research program ‘Frontiers of Fiscal Souvereinity’ (Grenzen van fiscale souvereniteit) and investigates a potential new policy instrument in the battle against tax avoidance by multinationals.
While governments worldwide have committed to this battle against tax avoidance, the current approach is only effective to a certain extent. After all, despite the wide range of policy measures, tax avoidance possibilities will remain. Therefore, it is useful to also address tax avoidance with a fundamentally different policy instrument. This new approach can be a fair taxation trade mark: a voluntary, self-regulating instrument. Such a trade mark rewards ‘good’ tax behaviour rather than enforcing it with regulations or emphasising the negative aspects of a company’s tax policy, as naming and shaming initiatives do. Hereby, a trade mark may incentivise multinationals towards socially responsible tax practices.
The first outlines of a trade mark for fair taxation already exist. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the ‘Fair Tax Mark’ is developing. Furthermore, the European Parliament showed first interest in the creation of a ‘Fair tax payer-trade mark’. Strikingly, there is no comprehensive research on this matter yet. However, it is crucial that the grounds of this policy instrument are thoroughly researched, before worldwide adoption of such a trade mark. This raises the following question: (under which conditions) would a fair taxation trade mark be desirable in the battle against tax avoidance?
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