Projekt

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The emergence of global tax payers: the (re-)making of international business tax law

Titel Englisch The emergence of global tax payers: the (re-)making of international business tax law
Gesuchsteller/in Eckert Julia
Nummer 166087
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Institut für Sozialanthropologie Universität Bern
Hochschule Universität Bern - BE
Hauptdisziplin Ethnologie
Beginn/Ende 01.08.2016 - 31.10.2019
Bewilligter Betrag 436'513.00
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Alle Disziplinen (3)

Disziplin
Ethnologie
Rechtswissenschaften
Volkswirtschaftslehre

Keywords (5)

fiscal anthropology, international tax law , regulation, knowledge networks, emergence of global legal norms

Lay Summary (Deutsch)

Lead
Die Internationalität, Legitimität und Effektivität des internationalen Steuerrechts ist im letzten Jahrzehnt weltweit in vielen Ländern öffentlich kritisiert worden. In diesem Projekt werden die Akteure, Prozesse und Orte untersucht durch welche und an denen internationales Steuerrecht in der Praxis verhandelt und produziert wird.
Lay summary

Die Abwesenheit einer internationalen Steuerrechtsbehörde, welche globales Steuerrecht entwirft und implementiert, führt zu einer Situation, welche sich auffallend von der nationalen Ebene unterscheidet: denn internationales Steuerrecht wird von Staatsvertretern, Steuerexperten und Interessensgruppen innerhalb von intergovernmentalen Organisationen ausgehandelt, die letztlich nur zum Teil demokratisch legitimiert sind. Die Legitimität, Internationalität und Effektivität der derzeitigen Normen und Regeln werden deshalb von verschiedenen Akteuren, die bis jetzt nicht am Verhandlungsprozess teilgenommen haben—vorrangig Länder des globalen Südens und zivilgesellschaftliche Organisationen—in Frage gestellt. Das Projekt, das mit qualitativen Forschungsmethoden arbeitet, hat zum Ziel, ein empirisch fundiertes Verständnis zu generieren, wie internationales Steuerrecht in der Praxis gemacht wird. Es will dazu beitragen, die Auswirkungen einer veränderten Wahrnehmung von Steuergerechtigkeit („Wer soll wo Steuern zahlen, und wie viel?“) und dem derzeitigen Streit über die Machtordnung internationales Steuerrechtsnormen zu bestimmen („Wer soll einen Sitz am Steuerrechtsverhandlungstisch in intergovernmentalen Organisationen haben?“) auf die Produktion von internationalem Steuerrecht zu untersuchen. Damit gibt das Projekt auch allgemeine Aufschlüsse darüber, wie internationale Normen und Regeln für die globale Ressourcenverteilung zwischen Staaten entstehen. Dies ist besonders von Bedeutung für derzeitige Versuche in den Sozialwissenschaften, die Konsequenzen und Effekte der wachsenden Diskrepanz von vornehmlich territorial organisierten Staaten und einer zunehmend transnational organisierten Wirtschaft zu verstehen.

Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 04.08.2016

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Abstract

This ethnographic research project explores the emergence of global tax norms and the negotiation and making of international tax law. By studying the actors and the processes through which international tax law develops, this project contributes to the understanding of the making and change of these international laws and global norms. The production of international tax law is a matter of multiple sovereigns. The absence of a single sovereign designing and implementing global tax laws inherently creates a situation notably distinct from the national sphere. Domestic tax legislation develops within democratic institutions, which gives these norms, principles and procedures authority and legitimacy while on the global level there is no counterpart to such institutions. The making of international tax law involves state representatives, international tax experts and interest groups engaging in continuous negotiations within intergovernmental organizations to devise its norms and rules. Due to the opaque nature of intergovernmental organizations and international tax expert networks, little it known and understood about the nature and implications for equality and distributive justice of developing international tax law. Over the last decade however, there has been a sharp rise in demand for more transparency and scrutiny of international tax law making processes. The legitimacy and internationality of the current norms and principles are called into question by actors who have not previously participated in these processes - specifically, countries of the global South. Civil society organizations have further criticized the laws as unfair because they provide transnationally operating businesses with legal opportunities to greatly minimise their tax burden and are therefore described as inefficient in regulating today’s globally integrated economy. The hypothesis of this project is that the changing perception of tax fairness (“who should pay, where, and how much?”) and the current battle over the power to make norms of international taxation (“who should have a seat at the tax making table in intergovernmental organizations?”) have significant implications in the realm of international taxation. It will effect how global revenue is distributed, will shift consensus on what form of tax planning is perceived as fair und acceptable, and what fiscal accountabilities should entail. This project tests this hypothesis within the setting of the G20 OECD global initiative to regulate “Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” (BEPS) of transnational businesses and corporations. We ask: how does the involvement of economically powerful non-OECD countries in the tax law making process and the intense debate about tax fairness in many civil societies affect the negotiation and making of international tax laws in this specific setting? In order to understand the process by which international tax norms emerge from the interactions that take place within the BEPS initiative, this project postulates that that the following insights are required: (1) identification of actors within the various levels of BEPS negotiations, and norm and law making (2) understanding their work culture, (3) their values, norms and beliefs, (4) tracing their internal information gathering, decision-making and consensus making processes, and (5) identifying interpersonal and institutional factors which lead to the inclusion or exclusion of alternative viewpoints, and impact which norms become powerful and legitimate. This project puts forward that an ethnography, a methodically plural and context-related research strategy, is best suited to gathering these insights. Through extensive field contacts, an ethnographic approach aims at the participation of the inner logic and self-conception of social situations. Such a research approach is therefore most suitable for exploring difficult to access organizational settings and the informal rules that shape how actors think and work and the norms that underpin practices in such settings. Only with the help of such a perspective is it possible to gain an empirically grounded understanding of how and which international tax norms gain dominance and legitimacy within the BEPS initiative, and for which reasons. This in turn will contribute to a better understanding of the transparency and making of global and international tax law.