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What we have now is a mess," Robert Peroni, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, said October 10, referring to the international tax system.
Heads nodded in agreement at a conference on reforming entity taxation hosted by Boston College Law School in Newton, Massachusetts, and cosponsored by Tax Analysts. A discussion of how to go about cleaning up that mess pitted multilateralism against a U.S.-first approach. Panelists appeared to share the realpolitik view that whatever course is followed, dominant actors have called the shots for decades and will probably continue to do so.
According to Allison Christians of McGill University Faculty of Law, the problems addressed by the conference's panel on international taxation are not much different from those faced by four academics more than 90 years ago when asked by the League of Nations to study the question of how to share the world's income tax base. Christians said the crucial issue now is the failure to tax income as opposed to double taxation, which worried policymakers then.
"If you gave international tax a grade over 90 years, it would be an F," Christians said. "We will not take fairness seriously on the international stage."
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