Is the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s 2021 Tax Deal Fair?

LSE Public Policy Review (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In October 2021, the Inclusive Framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted a new international tax deal, which has been hailed as a major step towards a fair and effective global corporate tax system. In this article, we question this verdict. We analyse this deal on the basis of three complementary fairness principles: preventing free riding by multinational corporations (MNCs), respect for and promotion of the fiscal autonomy of countries, and the limitation of distributive and relational inequalities. We argue that the tax deal is unlikely to lead to a substantial improvement in fairness. We do, however, welcome the deal’s recognition of the need to tax multinational corporations as unitary entities subject to a global minimum effective tax rate. We argue that this recognition creates opportunities for fairer reforms that should be pursued through a more inclusive global decision-making process.

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Alex Voorhoeve
London School of Economics

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