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ECPR Summer School in Methods & Techniques 2020

From Words to Deeds: Towards an Analytical Framework for Assessing International Tax Compliance

Richard Eccleston
University of Tasmania
Richard Eccleston
University of Tasmania

The Financial Crisis has precipitated unprecedented international tax cooperation. This has been most evident in relation to tax information exchange and the activities of the OECD-sponsored Global Forum. The expansion of the tax information exchange agreements since 2009 is a significant achievement but the effectiveness of the regime is critically dependent on compliance.
This paper evaluates the existing literature on compliance in global governance in the context of recent developments in the international tax regime before making a case that analysis of compliance behaviour should move beyond the enforcement/management dichotomy which dominates the current literature (Joachim et al 2008). Specifically the paper argues that compliance behaviour in the international tax regime is driven by a wide range of factors beyond those organisations (such as the OECD) which play a central role in its governance. One important dynamic is the extent to which States and other third parties use information generated by the regime to promote compliance. The paper concludes by proposing a modified group-grid approach as a possible framework for explaining compliance in the international tax regime.
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