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Dries Lesage

The Current G20 Taxation Agenda: Compliance, Accountability and Legitimacy

2014. Vol. 9. No. 4. P. 40–54 [issue contents]

This article analyzes the recent G20 initiatives on taxation, more precisely on “base erosion and profit shifting” (BEPS) in the area of corporate taxation and the new G20 norm of automatic exchange of information (AEoI) with regard to foreign accounts. After having reflected on the special relationship between the G20 and the OECD, the discussion proceeds through the lens of compliance, accountability and legitimacy. In terms of compliance, the G20 is still in the phase of delivering as a group on recent promises with regard to global standard setting. Compliance to these standards by G20 member states (and third countries) is expected to start in the coming years. As to accountability, the G20 and OECD already have ample experience with the peer-review process and public reporting on the G20/OECD standard of information exchange upon request. For AEoI and BEPS the OECD will be designated as the prime mechanism to monitor compliance as well. Both initiatives, which are attempts at universal governance, suffer from legitimacy issues, more precisely because the G20 and OECD exclude most developing countries. Moreover, the policy outputs are not necessarily adjusted to developing countries’ needs and interests. Since a few years, both G20 and OECD attempt to address this issue through institutional fixes, extensive consultations with developing countries and modifications at the level of content. 

Citation: Lesage D. (2014) The Current G20 Taxation Agenda: Compliance, Accountability and Legitimacy. International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 9, no 4, pp. 40-54 (in Russian and English).
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