Corporate tax avoidance has received considerable media, civil society, governmental and scholarly attention in recent years, but it has not yet been fully engaged with within the business and human rights agenda. Having had the honour of speaking on this subject at Christian Aid Ireland’s conference on Human Rights in Tax and Fiscal Policy last year, I have now completed an article, ”The Elephant in the Room’: Corporate Tax Avoidance & Business and Human Rights’, which will be published in the Business and Human Rights Journal. Here is the abstract:
This article addresses the phenomenon of tax avoidance by companies in the context of the emerging field of business and human rights. It describes the mechanics of corporate tax avoidance and the human costs of such practices. It then considers the extent to which tax issues have been addressed by corporate social responsibility, before turning to business and human rights and assessing the potential value of the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights in this context. The article draws on the experience of Ireland, given the country’s connection to abusive tax practices associated with large multinational corporations and its support for the United Nations Guiding Principles on business and human rights.
For those interested, I have posted a freely accessible advance version of the article on SSRN.