Reflecting the explosion of profit shifting by multinational companies that occurred from the early 1990s, and catalysed by the fiscal pressures that followed the financial crisis that began in 2008, policymakers in high-income countries came to share the longstanding concerns of lower-income countries about the scale of global corporate tax abuse and the failings of the international rules. The G20 group mandated the OECD to lead the ‘Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ (BEPS) process, initially from 2013-2015. With swift recognition that the problems had not been solved, the continuing discussions about digitalisation gave rise to a ‘BEPS 2.0’ that was intended to run from 2019-2020, but continues to this day.
The current OECD proposals have broken the mould set by the League of Nations a century ago, in including elements of unitary taxation and formulary apportionment (to move beyond the deeply flawed arm’s length pricing), and a form of global minimum tax. But the unitary element would apply to only a tiny fraction of multinationals’ profits, and the minimum tax leaves the incentives for profit shifting in place while delivering most benefits to high-income headquarters countries and profit shifting hubs.
This event will analyse the threats and opportunities that now face countries – from the pressure to sign a blank cheque (to make binding multilateral commitments when the OECD is unable or unwilling to publish estimates of potential revenue impacts), to the potential space to pursue unilateral or regional alternatives exploiting the new recognition, in principle at least, of the value of unitary tax and formulary apportionment.
This event is part of a series of online public events the Tax Justice Network is hosting that will discuss critical opportunities in 2022 to meet pressing global urgencies with global tax progress. The event series will bring together high-level policymakers, leading economists and renowned campaigners to discuss the most pivotal tax justice policy developments of 2022, how tax justice policies can be implemented and who should lead reform of the global tax system. Learn more about Tax Justice Series 2022 here.
UN Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, Ag Deputy Principal CHSS; Director Research and Enterprise and Assoc Prof Fiscal Law and Policy, University of NairobiAttiyaWaris
Professor Attiya Waris the only Professor of Fiscal Law and Policy in Eastern Africa. She holds a PhD in Law and is a specialist in Fiscal Law, Policy and Development. She is an advocate, company secretary and arbitrator of 20 years standing. She founded the Committee on Fiscal Studies where the team spearheaded the first agreement on sharing of data between a University and a revenue agency globally, between the University of Nairobi and the Kenya Revenue Authority and actively mentors the next generation of researchers. She currently teaches at the Law School, University of Nairobi. She has previously taught in South Africa, Rwanda, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. She has previously held the position of Director of Research and Enterprise for the University (2019-2022) and acted as Deputy Principal of the then College of Humanities and Social Sciences (2020-2021)
She has researched and published on global, African, Asian, European as well as Latin American issues.She has published over 40 articles, book chapters and reports in high impact journals including but not limited to the Bulletin of International Taxation, the Lancet and the Bulletin of the WHO. Her book ‘Tax and Development’ (2013) is the first publication globally that links the areas of tax and human rights and her more recent publication ‘Financing Africa’ (2019) is the first publication globally to map out African fiscal systems.
She has received research grants from the European Commission, GIZ, Open Society and Oxfam. She also consults for international institutions like the UN, government agencies as well as civil society organizations. Her funded research includes issues around financing rights, financing health, taxation of collective investment vehicles as well as researching issues related to the United Nations Tax Committee.
She was a nominee in 2017 for the position of UN Special Rapporteur on Development and is the current UN Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and other related international financial obligations of States on Human Rights (1st August 2021-31st July 2024) and is an Observer to the UN Tax Committee. She has sat on and sits on several boards related to the training and research into elements of fiscal systems. She has a page on Wikipedia and her opinions have been featured in the Irish Times, BBC, Al Jazeera, Trouw, DutchNews, NationTV, African Arguments, Standard News, Sierra Leone Telegraph, the Namibian, the Spider’s Web Documentary. Her work has been published in English, French, Kiswahili, Arabic, Norweigen, German and Spanish. She has been invited to speak at some of the leading international, continental and regional organizations & universities as well as governments and national parliaments across the world. Prof Waris is visible on social media.
Abdul Muheet Chowdhary
Senior Programme Officer - International Tax Cooperation, The South Centreabdulmc
Mr. Abdul Muheet Chowdhary is Senior Programme Officer of the Sustainable Development and Climate Change (SDCC) Programme of the South Centre. He leads the South Centre Tax Initiative (SCTI) which is a part of the SDCC Programme. Previously, he served in India’s Ministry of External Affairs where he was in the Policy Planning and Research Division specialising in economic strategy. He was formerly a consultant to the United Nations and also worked as a legislative aide in the Parliament of India, specialising in tax and financial law. He has a Master’s in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, a Diploma in International Trade Law from the Indian Academy of International Law & Diplomacy and a certification in International Taxation.
Director of the Secretariat, G-24
Marilou Uy is Director of the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development (G-24). The G-24 is a representative body of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of developing countries. In her current role, Ms. Uy manages the Group’s work program on perspectives of developing countries on matters related to the international financial architecture and financing for development. She also represents the Group in various international forums. Prior to joining the G-24 Secretariat in 2014, Ms. Uy was the Senior Adviser to the Managing Director at the World Bank. While at the World Bank, she also held several senior management roles, such as Sector Director for the Africa Financial and Private Sector Development Department, Director of the Financial Sector Operations and Policy Department and Chair of the Financial Sector Board that oversaw the World Bank’s financial sector practice. Since joining the World Bank in 1985 as part of its Young Professionals Program, Ms. Uy worked on financial sector and private sector development in Latin America, Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Ms. Uy pursued her graduate studies in economics and finance at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of the Philippines.
Chief Executive, Tax Justice Networkalexcobham
Alex Cobham is an economist and chief executive of the Tax Justice Network. He is also a founding member of the steering group of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, and of the technical advisory group for the Fair Tax Mark. His work focuses on illicit financial flows, effective taxation for development, and inequality. He has been a researcher at Oxford University, Christian Aid, Save the Children, and the Center for Global Development, and has consulted widely, including for UNCTAD, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, DFID, and the World Bank. He recently published two books: The Uncounted (Polity Press), and Estimating Illicit Financial Flows: A Critical Guide to the Data, Methodologies, and Findings, with Petr Janský (Oxford University Press, open access).
Dr Nara Monkam
Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, University of Pretoria (as of 1 August 2022)NMonkam
Dr Nara Monkam will join the University of Pretoria as an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics as of 1 August 2022.
She was the Director of Research at the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) from February 2014 to April 2022. She was also a member of the Davis Tax Committee, appointed from 17 July 2013 to 27 March 2018 by the then Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, to reassess the South African tax system. Prior to joining the ATAF, she was the Deputy Director of the African Tax Institute (ATI) and a Senior Lecturer (2009-2014) in the Department of Economics at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
Dr Monkam holds a PhD degree in Economics from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta (USA) and both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of Namur in Belgium. Her areas of expertise and research interests centre mainly on public economics, domestic resource mobilization, tax policy and tax administration, intergovernmental fiscal relations, and sub-national government finance.