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Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation

Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation


EU Commission’s Consultation on Fair Taxation of the Digital Economy

In January 2018 Professor Michael Devereux and Associate Professor John Vella submitted a response to the European Commission on Fair Taxaton of the Digital Economy.

Read the response to the consultation.

Treasury Select Committee Enquiry: UK Tax Policy and Tax Base

In June 2016 Professor Michael P Devereux was among a group of experts called before the committee to give oral evidence into the shifting sands of UK tax policy and the tax base.

Read the transcription of the oral evidence.

The All-Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax Consultation - an examination of the OECD's BEPS recommendations to the G20

In January 2016 Professor Michael P Devereux and Associate Professor John Vella submitted a brief response on three of the issues set out in the consultation:

Issue 1: The effectiveness of the OECD’s current BEPS proposals in responding to the globalisation of businesses, the growth of the digital economy and other challenges;
Issue 8: The longer term challenges which cannot be addressed by the current proposals. Including the actions the UK government could take in its tax policies, including tax treaties, to ensure that UK companies do not make use of tax havens for tax minimising purposes;
Issue 9: Principles which could be considered over time as effective mechanisms for dealing with the changing global economy, including the fair and effective taxation of multinational companies.

Read the submission written in response to these issues.

Treasury Select Committee Enquiry: UK Tax Policy and the Tax Base

In January 2016 the Treasury Committee launched an inquiry into the shifting sands of UK tax policy and the tax base. The inquiry looks into how tax policy is made, how tax collection is administered and how to address the vulnerability of the tax base. 

The complexity of tax law is turning what should be a straightforward principle – that everybody should pay the correct amount of tax – in to a piece of elastic. For corporation tax, for instance, the problem is exacerbated by the globalisation of economic activity and any liability to tax that accompanies it. The Inquiry will look at whether the tax system, including the making of tax policy and the administration of tax by HMRC, is fit for purpose for the 21st Century.

Read the submission written in response to one of the points raised by the Enquiry - Radical solutions to the problem of the shrinking tax base.

House of Lords Economic Affairs Finance Bill Sub-Committee (FBSC) 2016

The Committee began its inquiry into the draft Finance Bill 2016 in January and chose to focus on two cross-cutting issues: the extent to which measures proposed in the draft Bill contribute to the simplification of the personal tax system; and their impact on the compliance burdens of taxpayers. In considering these two broad issues, the inquiry concentrated on three areas in the draft Bill: the clauses reforming the taxation of savings income and dividends; those providing new powers for HMRC to issue Simple Assessments of an individual’s tax liability; and those establishing the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) on a statutory basis. Judith Freedman, Director of Legal Studies at the Centre for Business Taxation, provided oral evidence to the Finance Bill Sub Committee, which is cited in this report.

Read the report

The balance of competences

In July 2012, the government of the United Kingdom (UK) initiated the Balance of Competence Review, which aims at examining the impact of the UK’s membership in the European Union (EU) on its national interests. The review covers several substantive areas of EU competence and is divided into four semesters.

The analysis draws attention to the problematic legal and practical issues in the division of competences between the EU and the UK in the field of taxation. It primarily focuses on direct taxation. However, many competence issues discussed in this evidence, such as those related to the procedural and substantive conditions defining the use of the enhanced cooperation procedure, apply equally in a wider tax policy context.

Read the submission which was written in response to the Call for Evidence in relation to tax matters, which was issued by the HM Treasury in November 2012 (Semester 1).