The Tax Justice Network

We had a fascinating and informative talk in November from John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network.  

John’s subject was the harm done by tax havens and by tax avoidance by large international companies. He has an enormous depth of experience and insight, and the work of the Tax Justice Network has been very influential, so we were very fortunate to be able to hear his views and ask him questions about the subject.

The video of the talk is now available on our YouTube Channel here:

John has provided his slides, which are available by following this link:

The film he mentioned, which goes into more depth on the subject, is ‘The Spider’s Web’, which you can find here

There were also some supplementary questions, which we did not have time to cover on the evening.  John has kindly provided a brief response as follows:

Q1 Your views on the Robin Hood tax  - I'm fully supportive of most variants of the Robin Hood Tax.

Q2 Bill Gates demurred when challenged in an interview with Jeremy Paxman about his charitable foundation being funded, in effect, by tax avoidance by Gates. Is Gates justified in doing this, given the immense good the foundation is able to deliver?   Absolutely not. Philanthropy is not a substitute for paying tax, especially when the philanthropist is not democratically accountable. Not paying taxes gave Microsoft a major financial advantage over rivals, causing market distortions and reinforcing market dominance; this is the antithesis of responsible corporate behaviour.  

Q3 Joe Biden - any indication that he will address tax evasion strongholds like the state of Delaware? We are hopeful that Biden will carry the bipartisan bill through the Senate to require states to make their corporate ownership registries publicly accessible.  We are also hopeful that he will reverse the corporate tax rate cut implemented by his predecessor.  I'm not so hopeful when it comes to negotiating a new global settlement for taxing MNCs based upon a unitary tax approach.

4 Is The Good Law Project another valid and effective vehicle for tackling corrupt practice and lax legislation?  In a word yes.  A more expansive answer would mention that Jolyon Maughan has a solid track record when it comes to well evidenced arguments and is an effective communicator.