Tax Journal – Tax and trade – Policy recommendations on international tax and trade regimes

More thought needs to be given about the interaction of tax and trade regimes. Global trade policy has focused on the broad scope of obstacles to trading, while international tax policy has traditionally focused on avoiding double taxation. Both tax and trade are key drivers for economic policy; however, in recent years, there have been instances where taxes have distorted trade rules, and vice versa. e rising awareness of potentially abusive tax practices has resulted in recent multinational initiatives, such as the BEPS Action Plan and EC rulings on illegal state aid, which are designed to deliver greater ‘fairness’ in tax. Whilst this is a generally acceptable goal, governments should ensure that global tax and trade policies are supportive of each other. Global trade rules should not move away from the principle of equal treatment and the goal of a fair and equitable trading system. An open, transparent tax system, consistent with trade obligations, can be a nation’s most important trade policy.

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