Chapter 13: Global tax information networks: legitimacy in a global administrative state
Many commentators have traced the historical and more recent developments in transnational tax information exchange. In a global era, national tax administrators must cooperate with each other and work to build transnational institutions and networks that give them the capacity to enforce tax laws in respect of multinational and mobile capital and labour. This chapter discusses whether national tax administrators are, finally, beginning to achieve the levels of transnational tax cooperation required to maintain national tax sovereignty. This chapter then explores the question of legitimacy of transnational tax information networks, which will be crucial for the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of transnational tax administrative cooperation. There have been calls for the establishment of a world tax organization or similar institution that would instigate a form, whether limited or expansive, of international administration of cross-border tax issues. This has not yet been achieved. However, this chapter argues that we can observe national tax agencies taking another path towards effective global tax information exchange (and other forms of administrative cooperation). This alternative path comprises the building of transnational tax administrative networks between national tax agencies, under the direct, or indirect, authority of state governments. Thus, as in the case of shipping regulation, we observe a gradual process of ‘regulation up’, as national tax agencies begin to institutionalize processes of global regulation in taxation. This chapter also argues that such a networked, governance approach is preferable to adopting an alternative suggestion made recently by Steven Dean that countries could seek to constitute a ‘robust market’ for tax information
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