Do corporations have a duty to shareholders to avoid tax?

Corporations do not have a duty to their shareholders to avoid tax as far as possible within the law. The Tax Justice Network obtained a formal legal opinion confirming this in the United Kingdom. The Delaware courts in the U.S. have also ruled that “there is no general fiduciary duty to minimise taxes.”

Company directors generally have duties to promote the success of their companies. But in doing so, they are required to consider a wider set of stakeholders than merely shareholders: they need to balance the interests of their shareholders against the interests of wider society.