Empire tax avoidance - if true, how wonderful

The Tax Justice Network is shouting about how those remnants of empire, the territories and dependencies, drive corporate tax avoidance. Let us assume that TJN are correct in this claim - isn’t that a lovely and wondrous thing?

The UK and its “corporate tax haven network” is by far the world’s greatest enabler of corporate tax avoidance, research has claimed.

British territories and dependencies made up four of the 10 places that have done the most to “proliferate corporate tax avoidance” on the corporate tax haven index.

Corporate tax avoidance being a good thing, therefore this is a good thing, enabling it.

Alex Cobham, the Tax Justice Network chief executive, said a handful of the richest countries had waged a world tax war “so corrosive it had broken the global corporate tax system beyond repair”.

Truly excellent then.

This is not because we believe the plutocrats should never be taxed - we’re right with Adam Smith himself in more than in proportion of the tax burden. Rather, it’s just that we’ve read a little further in the economic textbooks and know that corporate taxation is a bad system of taxation. We shouldn’t be trying to tax economic activity at the level of the firm at all.

Given that the entire economy is indeed incomes to someone we can and should tax that economic activity when it turns up as an income to someone. Simples - and yes, the standard research does indeed tell us that this is economically efficient in a manner that corporate taxation is not. That we’ve a legal and regulatory system in which competition leads to this desirable outcome, the collapse of the inefficient current system? Well, that’s good, isn’t it.