Ask The Expert – Professor Michael Devereux: Do multinationals pay enough tax?

This event formed part of our Ask The Expert series, in association with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Professor Michael Devereux
Director, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation, Saïd Business School
Honorary President, International Institute of Public Finance

Recently, several multinational companies have been accused of not paying enough tax. In the UK, the HMRC has been accused of “sweetheart deals”, and of allowing multinationals to evade their tax liabilities.

At an international level, the OECD has recently announced the outcome of a two year review of the taxation of multinationals, including many detailed proposals for reform. At the same time, countries compete with each other for inward investment, and to favour their own companies.

As the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee opens its inquiry into how tax policy is made, how tax collection is administered and how to address the vulnerability of the tax base, this event will address these key questions:

  • Will implementation of the OECD proposals fix the problem? Or are there more fundamental issues that need to be addressed?
  • How can greater transparency of multinationals tax arrangements be achieved and what are the prospects for it (and barriers to achieving it)?
  • Are there steps that the UK government can take on its own, or do we need an international consensus?
  • In the absence of an international consensus, where is the tax system for multinationals heading?