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Tax, Inequality, and Human Rights$
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Philip G. Alston and Nikki R. Reisch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190882228

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190882228.001.0001

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Corporate Tax Privacy and Human Rights

Corporate Tax Privacy and Human Rights

Chapter:
(p.279) Chapter 12 Corporate Tax Privacy and Human Rights
Source:
Tax, Inequality, and Human Rights
Author(s):

Joshua D. Blank

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190882228.003.0013

This chapter examines the relationship of corporate tax privacy and tax compliance from a new vantage point, which is called the “intercorporate perspective.” In the United States, all tax returns and return information of corporations are confidential. An unappreciated value of corporate tax privacy is that it can limit the pressure to pursue aggressive tax planning and reporting that corporate tax directors often face from significant shareholders, nontax managers, and even themselves. Corporate tax privacy provides the government with valuable strategic defenses by restraining the ability of a corporation’s stakeholders and agents to engage in “benchmarking” and “reverse engineering,” behaviors that would likely cause some tax directors to pursue more aggressive tax planning and reporting. Yet, at the same time, increased public access to certain corporate tax return information could enable the public to participate in informed debate and discussion of the corporate tax law and to question whether the governments is applying the tax law to corporate taxpayers effectively and fairly.

Keywords:   corporate tax privacy, tax compliance, intercorporate perspective, tax planning, tax reporting, benchmarking, reverse engineering, corporate tax return, corporate tax law, corporate taxpayers

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