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The future international tax environment and European tax harmonization: a personal view

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  • Simon James

Abstract

The shape of the international tax system is being influenced by a number of important factors. This paper uses the basic management technique of STEP analysis to explore the changes that are under way and presents some of the social, technological, economic and political factors involved. It soon becomes clear that important trends include the increasing complexity of socio-economic systems which is likely to increase the complexity of the tax systems that have to accommodate them. Nevertheless the most dramatic changes will be associated with fundamental technological developments including the Internet and the World Wide Web. The development of international electronic commerce presents a considerable challenge to existing tax systems and there are accounting implications. For example, certain economic events may no longer continue to have easily identifiable physical locations. Such changes will substantially increase the need for governments to co-operate and to co-ordinate their tax systems. One way forward might be greater European tax harmonization. So far progress has been slow and uncertain but a clarification of the meaning of harmonization and the extent to which Member States wish to achieve it might make the path easier. The economic contribution with respect to fiscal federalism and the concept of subsidiarity would be able to assist in this process.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/096381899335781
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

Volume (Year): 8 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 731-747

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Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:8:y:1999:i:4:p:731-747

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References

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  1. Jon Nicolaisen & Peter Hoeller, 1990. "Economics and the Environment: A Survey of Issues and Policy Options," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 82, OECD Publishing.
  2. Edwards, Jeremy & Keen, Michael, 1996. "Tax competition and Leviathan," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 113-134, January.
  3. Janeba,Eckhard, 1991. "Corporate income tax competition,Double taxation treaties, and foreign direct investment," Discussion Paper Serie A 361, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Cordes, Joseph J. & Nicholson, Eric & Sammartino, Frank, 1990. "Raising Revenue by Taxing Activities with Social Costs," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 43(3), pages 343-56, September.
  5. Kanbur, Ravi & Keen, Michael, 1993. "Jeux Sans Frontieres: Tax Competition and Tax Coordination When Countries Differ in Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 877-92, September.
  6. Stephen Smith, 1992. "Taxation and the environment: a survey," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 21-57, January.
  7. Simon James & Ian Wallschutsky, 1997. "Tax law improvement in Australia and the UK: the need for a strategy for simplification," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(4), pages 445-460, November.
  8. Elizabeth Symons & John Proops & Philip Gay, 1994. "Carbon taxes, consumer demand and carbon dioxide emissions: a simulation analysis for the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 19-43, May.
  9. Claudio M. Radaelli, 1998. "Policy Narratives in the European union: The Case of Harmful Tax Competition," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 34, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. James, Simon, 2007. "Tax Simplification is not a simple issue: the reasons for difficulty and a possible strategy," MPRA Paper 19281, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. James, Simon, 2012. "The contribution of behavioral economics to tax reform in the United Kingdom," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 468-475.
  3. Margaret Lamb & Andrew Lymer, 1999. "Taxation research in an accounting context: future prospects and interdisciplinary perspectives," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(4), pages 749-776.
  4. James, Simon & Edwards, Alison, 2008. "Developing Tax Policy in a Complex and Changing World," Economic Analysis and Policy (EAP), Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Economics and Finance, vol. 38(1), pages 35-53, March.

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