Unfair tax havens

Rum Point in the Cayman Islands (picture Visa1410)

By Richard Laming

Published in the Daily Telegraph, 26 February 2009

SIR – Irwin Stelzer supports a crackdown on “illegal” tax havens (Comment, February 25), but the real point is that tax havens are currently legal.

We need an international agreement on how to identify the correct location for the taxation of each economic activity, related to the underlying economics of businesses and not according to their tax planning. That way, the tax competition that Mr Stelzer rightly values can be preserved, while ensuring that the tax burden falls fairly, and not merely on those who cannot afford to pay for tax advice.

The drawback of this proposal is that it undermines a little the notion that taxation is a matter of exclusive national sovereignty. However, I suspect that, in the modern inter-dependent world, most people would accept this in the name of fairer taxes.

Richard Laming
Director, Federal Union
London SE1

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