Influence of Tax Dodging on Tax Justice in Developing Countries: Some Theory and Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

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Otusanya, O.J
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The currency in international campaign for tax justice relates to the harmful effect of tax competition, of low- tax jurisdictions and of weak fiscal governance on the economic development of less developed and emerging economies. Mobilising domestic resources, in particular, taxation is key to unlocking the resources required for public investment in infrastructure, growth and sustainable finance. This study shares the perception that the tax arrangements of states and the transnational corporations (TNC) of developed states have a critical effect on the development prospects of the less powerful states in developing countries. This paper locates the role of TNC tax practice within the broader dynamics of globalisation and the pursuit of profits, to argue that the drive of TNCs for higher profits can enrich our understanding of why some TNCs engage in tax dodging. The evidence shows that tax havens and offshore financial centres, shaped by globalisation, are major structures facilitating the antisocial tax practices of TNCs. Tax justice in developing countries must therefore consider the fundamental interdependence of the global economy and the very specific disadvantages facing poorer states with weaker institutions of tax governance, deriving from the sophisticated tax schemes of highly mobile transnational corporations. The paper further shows that the corrosive effect of low- tax jurisdictions ('tax havens') continues to represent a major obstacle to a regulation of global economic relations which is required for maintaining sustainable social and economic development of poorer states. The paper also offers some suggestions for reform.
Staff Publications
Tax Justice , Growth and Sustainable Development , Developing Countries , Poverty
Otusanja, O.J (2015) Influence of Tax Dodging on Tax Justice in Developing Countries: Some Theory and Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa.