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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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ECHR Litigation as a Tool for Tax Justice in Europe

ECHR Litigation as a Tool for Tax Justice in Europe

Chapter:
(p.409) Chapter 18 ECHR Litigation as a Tool for Tax Justice in Europe
Source:
Tax, Inequality, and Human Rights
Author(s):

Céline Braumann

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190882228.003.0019

This chapter examines the prospects for challenging a tax exemption granted to a private company by invoking the prohibition on discrimination in the European Charter on Human Rights (ECHR). Should the Court hold that certain selective tax rulings are a violation of the prohibition of discrimination under the ECHR, this finding would set a powerful precedent to rebut the claim that tax avoidance is “perfectly legal.” Accordingly, the hands-off treatment the international community has afforded tax-avoidance strategies might give rise to legal liability. Ultimately, to reform international tax policies, it is crucial to understand past practices and whether and why these practices should be considered broken and unjust. The chapter then looks at a specific case of tax exemption, allegedly granted to a subsidiary of McDonald’s by Luxembourg.

Keywords:   tax exemption, discrimination, ECHR, tax avoidance, legal liability, international tax policies

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