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National Tax Regulation, International Standards and the GATS: Argentina—Financial Services

Author

Listed:
  • Panagiotis Delimatsis
  • Bernard Hoekman

Abstract

Can a WTO Member discriminate against foreign suppliers of services located in jurisdictions that refuse to share information with a government to permit it to determine if its nationals engage in tax evasion? Does it matter if the Member uses standards developed by an international body as the criterion for deciding whether to impose measures? In Argentina—Financial Services the WTO Appellate Body held that services from jurisdictions that share financial tax information may be different from services provided by jurisdictions that do not cooperate in supplying such information. It overruled a Panel finding that measures to increase taxes on financial transactions with non-cooperative jurisdictions were discriminatory. We argue that the AB reached the right conclusion but that an important opportunity was missed to clarify what WTO Members are permitted to do to enforce their domestic regulatory regimes, and how international standards could have a bearing on this question. By giving consideration to arguments that the likeness of services and service suppliers may be a function of prevailing domestic regulatory regimes, the AB increased the scope for confusion and future litigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Panagiotis Delimatsis & Bernard Hoekman, 2017. "National Tax Regulation, International Standards and the GATS: Argentina—Financial Services," RSCAS Working Papers 2017/42, European University Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2017/42
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elsayyad, May & Konrad, Kai A., 2012. "Fighting multiple tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 295-305.
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    4. Desai, Mihir A. & Foley, C. Fritz & Hines, James Jr., 2006. "Do tax havens divert economic activity?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 219-224, February.
    5. Mattoo, Aaditya, 1997. "National treatment in the GATS: Corner-stone or Pandora's Box," WTO Staff Working Papers TISD-96-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    6. Slemrod, Joel & Wilson, John D., 2009. "Tax competition with parasitic tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(11-12), pages 1261-1270, December.
    7. Gómez Sabaini, Juan Carlos & Jiménez, Juan Pablo, 2012. "Tax structure and tax evasion in Latin America," Macroeconomía del Desarrollo 118, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    8. Johannesen, Niels, 2010. "Imperfect tax competition for profits, asymmetric equilibrium and beneficial tax havens," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 253-264, July.
    9. Johannesen, Niels, 2012. "Optimal fiscal barriers to international economic integration in the presence of tax havens," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 400-416.
    10. Delimatsis, Panagiotis, 2007. "International Trade in Services and Domestic Regulations: Necessity, Transparency, and Regulatory Diversity," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199533152.
    11. Javier Garcia-Bernardo & Jan Fichtner & Eelke M. Heemskerk & Frank W. Takes, 2017. "Uncovering Offshore Financial Centers: Conduits and Sinks in the Global Corporate Ownership Network," Papers 1703.03016, arXiv.org, revised May 2017.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tax evasion; tax havens; international regulatory cooperation; information exchange; transparency;

    JEL classification:

    • F38 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - International Financial Policy: Financial Transactions Tax; Capital Controls
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H26 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Tax Evasion and Avoidance
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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