Tax Avoidance as a Sustainability Problem

Abstract

This manuscript proposes that tax avoidance can be better understood and mitigated as a sustainability problem. Tax avoidance is not just a financial problem for tax authorities, but one that erodes critical common spaces necessary for the smooth functioning of regulatory compliance, organizational integrity, and society. Defining tax avoidance as a sustainability problem offers a broader and more holistic understanding of the organizational and societal consequences of tax avoidance behavior. Sustainability is also a mature and legitimized concept that can readily incorporate taxation. A variety of established sustainability metrics have the capacity to incorporate anti-tax avoidance measures or publicize firms that engage in fair tax practices. This manuscript concludes that integrating sustainability principles, in conjunction with important extant work on corporate social responsibility and taxation, can advance the goals of decreasing the occurrence and acceptability of tax avoidance.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Notes

  1. 1.

    On April 6, 2016, the US Department of Treasury announced new regulations targeted at tax-driven corporate inversions, and shortly thereafter Pfizer and Allergan announced that the firms would not merge (Merle and Johnson 2016).

  2. 2.

    Etsy formed an unlimited liability company in Ireland. For a more detailed discussion of Irish unlimited liability companies and the relevant tax law rules, see Stewart (2015) and Fannon (2014).

  3. 3.

    Tax avoidance is distinct from tax evasion, which is the willful and illegal circumvention or violation of tax laws in order to minimize tax liability. Tax avoidance is also different than tax mitigation, which arises from actions taken to reduce tax liability that are clearly and expressly stated or encouraged by legal rules (Prebble and Prebble 2010). While tax evasion is clearly illegal and tax mitigation relatively uncontroversial, our focus is primarily on the controversial and legal practice of tax avoidance.

  4. 4.

    This is a different definition of ‘regulatory commons’ than used by some authors, who define such a commons as when a social problem does not readily fall under the obligation of a single regulatory authority, and responsibility for that problem becomes diffused and ultimately breaks down (Buzbee 2003). Other authors use the term in a manner closer to our own, analogous to a tragedy of the commons problem whereby self-interested individuals in a regulatory space prevent other actors from implementing socially efficient bargains (Hazlett and Skorup 2014).

  5. 5.

    In 2011, AkzoNobel changed from the using the average ranking of the company within the DJSI to the average ranking within the Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) ranking (AkzoNobel 2012). [SAM is closely related to DJSI and I think the RobecoSAM we’ve discussed, but I can’t explain exactly how or why the shift was made].

  6. 6.

    As the report states “[t]his underlines how important sustainability is for AkzoNobel and how it has been fully integrated into the way we run our business.” (AkzoNobel 2014).

  7. 7.

    Two versions exist for assessment, one for UK-only businesses and the other for UK-owned multinationals.

References

  1. Abbott, K. W., & Snidal, D. (2009). Strengthening international regulation through transnational new governance: Ovearcoming the orchestration deficit. Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, 42(2), 501–578.

    Google Scholar 

  2. AkzoNobel. (2012). Remuneration report. https://www.akzonobel.com/system/images/AkzoNobel_Remuneration_report_2012_tcm9-80556.pdf.

  3. AkzoNobel. (2014). Report 2014. https://www.akzonobel.com/system/images/AkzoNobel_Report_2014_EN_tcm9-90769.pdf.

  4. Alm, J., & Torgler, B. (2006). Culture differences and tax morale in the United States and in Europe. Journal of Economic Psychology, 27(2), 224–246.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Alm, J., & Torgler, B. (2011). Do ethics matter? Tax compliance and morality. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(4), 635–651.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Aprill, E. P. (1994). Tribal bonds: Indian sovereignty and the tax legislative process. Administrative Law Review, 46(3), 333–368.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Avi-Yonah, R. S. (2004). International tax as international law. Tax Law Review, 57(4), 483–501.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Avi-Yonah, R. S. (2006). The three goals of taxation. Tax Law Review, 60(1), 1–28.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Avi-Yonah, R. S. (2014). Corporate taxation and corporate social responsibility. NYU Journal of Law and Business, 11(1), 1–29.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Ayres, I., & Braithwaite, J. (1992). Responsive regulation: Transcending the deregulation debate. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bailey, E. W. (2008). Incorporating ecological ethics into manifest destiny: Sustainable development, the population explosion, and the tradition of substantive due process. Tulane Environmental Law Journal, 21(2), 473–493.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Baldock, B. R., Ebel, D. M., Kelly, P. J., Lucero, C. F., Murphy, M. R., Porfilio, J. J., & Seymour, S. K. (1997). Judicial Independence: A discussion with judges of the United States court of appeals for the tenth circuit. Denver University Law Review, 74, 355–373.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Barford, V., & Holt, G. (2013). Google, Amazon, Starbucks: The rise of ‘tax shaming’. BBC News Magazine. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-20560359.

  14. Barinka, A., & Drucker, J. (2015, August 14). Etsy taps secret Irish tax haven and brags about transparency at home. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-14/etsy-taps-secret-irish-tax-haven-and-touts-transparency-at-home.

  15. Barkan, J. (2008). Legislatures on the rise? Journal of Democracy, 19(2), 124–137.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Bird, R. C. (2008). Pathways of legal strategy. Stanford Journal of Law, Business and Finance, 14(1), 1–41.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Bird, R. C., & Orozco, D. (2014). Finding the right corporate legal strategy. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(1), 81–89.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Black, B., Jang, H., & Kim, W. (2006). Does corporate governance affect firms' market values? Evidence from Korea. Journal of Law, Economics and Organization 22(2), 366–413.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Bodie, M. T. (2011). NASCAR green: The problem of sustainability in corporations and corporate law. Wake Forest Law Review, 46(3), 491–522.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Brewer, C. (2015, September 2). “Dodging” taxes and B corp status. [Socent law web log]. http://socentlaw.com/2015/09/dodging-taxes-and-b-corp-status/.

  21. Browning, A. (2010, July 15). Ireland unlimited companies: No obligation to publicly file accounts. Mondaq. http://www.mondaq.com/x/105484/Corporate+Commercial+Law/Unlimited+Companies+No+Obligation+to+Publicly+File+Accounts.

  22. Buzbee, W. W. (2003). Recognizing the regulatory commons: A theory of regulatory gaps. Iowa Law Review, 89, 1–64

    Google Scholar 

  23. Campbell, P. (2012, October 16). Starbucks facing boycott over tax: Protest groups threaten to try and close branches over revelations it hasn’t paid for three years. Daily Mail. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2218819/Starbucks-facing-boycott-tax.html#ixzz3ubluVeNP.

  24. Carmona, M. S. (2014). Report of the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. United Nations General Assembly: Human Rights Council, Doc. A/HRC/26/28.

  25. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (2015). Policy basics: Where do our federal tax dollars go? http://www.cbpp.org/research/policy-basics-where-do-our-federal-tax-dollars-go.

  26. Cerioni, L. (2014). International tax planning and corporate social responsibility: Crucial issues and proposed assessment in the European Union context. European Business Law Review, 25(6), 845–875.

    Google Scholar 

  27. Chatterji, A. K., & Toffel, M. W. (2010). How firms respond to being rated. Strategic Management Journal, 31(9), 917–945.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Christensen, J., & Murphy, R. (2004). The social irresponsibility of corporate tax avoidance. Development, 47(3), 37–44.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Christians, A. (2010). Networks, norms, and national tax policy. Washington University Global Studies Law Review, 9(1), 1–37.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Christians, A. (2012). How nations share. Indiana Law Journal, 87(4), 1407–1453.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Christians, A. (2013, August 12). How Starbucks lost its social license—And paid £20 million to get it back. Tax Notes International, 71, 637–639.

  32. Christians, A. (2014). Avoidance, evasion, taxpayer morality. Journal of Law & Policy, 44, 39.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Chung, J., & Trivedi, V. U. (2003). The effect of friendly persuasion and gender on tax compliance behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 47(2), 133–145.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Citizens for Tax Justice. (2013, June 2). Apple is not alone. http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2013/06/apple_is_not_alone.php#.Vm8nATY4lE4.

  35. Colliton, J. W. (1995). Standards, rules and the decline of courts in the law of taxation. Dickinson Law Review, 99, 265–329.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Crumbley, D. L., Epstein, M. J., & Bravenec, L. L. (1977). Tax impact in corporate social responsibility decisions and reporting. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 2(2), 131–139.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Cullis, J., Jones, P., & Lewis, A. (2006). Tax framing, instrumentality and individual differences: Are there two different cultures? Journal of Economic Psychology, 27(2), 304–320.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Cummings, R. G., Martinez-Vazquez, J., McKee, M., & Torgler, B. (2009). Tax morale affects tax compliance: Evidence from surveys and an artefactual field experiment. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 70, 447–457.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Curran, C. E. (1985). Just taxation in the Roman Catholic tradition. The Journal of Religious Ethics, 15(1), 113–133.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Dahlsrud, A. (2008). How corporate social responsibility is defined: An analysis of 37 definitions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 15, 1–13.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Dalby, D., & Scott, M. (2015). Ireland, accused of giving tax breaks to multinationals, plans an even lower rate. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/14/business/international/ireland-tax-rate-breaks.html.

  42. Daniels, B. (2007). Emerging commons and tragic institutions. Environmental Law, 37, 515–571.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Davies, J. (2013). Why CDP, GRI, DJSI stand out among sustainability frameworks. Greenbiz. http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2013/08/19/why-cdp-gri-djsi-stand-out-among-sustainability-frameworks.

  44. DeGaudenzi, R. C. (1993). Death is still certain, but are taxes? An examination of the due process limitations on retroactive tax legislation after Carlton v. United States. St. John’s Law Review, 67, 327–345.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Depaul, J. (2015, September 2). Advocacy group urges Etsy to change tax structure. Tax Notes Today, TNT 170-7.

  46. Desai, M., & Dharmapala, D. (2006a). Corporate social responsibility and taxation: The missing link. Leading Perspectives, (Winter) 4–5.

  47. Desai, M. A., & Dharmapala, D. (2006b). Corporate tax avoidance and high-powered incentives. Journal of Financial Economics, 79, 145–179.

  48. Dowling, G. (2014). The curious case of corporate tax avoidance: Is it socially irresponsible? Journal of Business Ethics, 124, 173–184.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Drennan, W. A. (2007). The patent office is promoting shocking new tax loopholes—Should the empire strike back? Oklahoma Law Review, 60(3), 491–546.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Drucker, J., & Barinka, A. (2015). Etsy’s B corp status challenged by tax group over Irish haven. Bloomberg Business. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-01/etsy-s-b-corp-status-challenged-by-tax-group-over-irish-haven.

  51. Dyreng, S. D., Hanlon, M., & Maydew, E. (2010). The effects of managers on corporate tax avoidance. The Accounting Review, 85, 1163–1189.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Efrat, R. (2008). The tax burden and the propensity of small-business entrepreneurs to file for bankruptcy. Hastings Business Law Journal, 4(2), 175–207.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Etsy. (2013). Etsy values & impact annual report. http://extfiles.etsy.com/Press/reports/Etsy_Values_ImpactReport_2013.pdf.

  54. Etsy. (2015). About Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/about/?ref=ftr.

  55. Fair Tax Mark. (2015a). Fair tax. http://www.fairtaxmark.net/.

  56. Fair Tax Mark. (2015b). What’s the fair tax mark? http://www.fairtaxmark.net/what-is-it/.

  57. Fair Tax Mark. (2015c). Summary scorecard. http://www.fairtaxmark.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Multinational-Scorecard-.pdf.

  58. Falkenberg, J., & Brunsæl, P. (2011). Corporate social responsibility: A strategic advantage or a strategic necessity? Journal of Business Ethics, 99(1), 9–16.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Fama, E. F., & Jensen, M. C. (1983). Separation of ownership and control. Journal of Law and Economics, 26, 301–325.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Fannon, I. L. (2014). The end of the celtic tiger: An Irish case study presenting an initial analysis of the failure of corporate governance and company law. SSRN: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2489028.

  61. Feld, L. P., & Frey, B. S. (2002). Trust breeds trust: How taxpayers are treated. Economics of Governance, 3, 88–89.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Feld, L. P., & Frey, B. S. (2007, January). Tax compliance as the result of a psychological tax contract: The role of incentives and responsive regulation. Law & Policy, 29(1), 102–120.

  63. Fisher, J. M. (2014). Fairer shores: Tax havens, tax avoidance, and corporate social responsibility. Boston University Law Review, 94(1), 337–364.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Fiskel, J. (2006). Sustainability and resilience: Toward a systems approach. Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy, 2(2), 14–21.

    Google Scholar 

  65. Fong, C. M., Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (2006). Strong reciprocity and the welfare state. In S. Kolm & J. M. Ythier (Eds.), Handbook on the economics of giving, reciprocity, and altruism (pp. 1447–1450). Amsterdam: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Gamage, D. (2014). How should governments promote distributive justice? A framework for analyzing the optimal choice of tax instruments. Tax Law Review, 68, 1–87.

    Google Scholar 

  67. Gardner, M. (2015). Will Etsy's brazen tax avoidance cost the company its "B Corporation" status? Tax Justice Blog. http://www.taxjusticeblog.org/archive/2015/08/will_etsys_brazen_tax_avoidanc.php#.VxE9mjY4lE4.

  68. Gangl, K., Torgler, B., & Kirchler, E. (2015). Patriotism’s impact on cooperation with the state: An experimental study on tax compliance. Political Psychology. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com. doi:10.1111/pops.12294/abstract.

  69. Graetz, M. J., & Doud, R. (2013). Technological innovation, international competition, and the challenges of international income taxation. Columbia Law Review, 113, 401–402.

    Google Scholar 

  70. GRI. (2013). GRI is the global standard as sustainability reporting goes mainstream, says KPMG survey. https://www.globalreporting.org/information/news-and-press-center/Pages/GRI-is-the-global-standard-as-sustainability-reporting-goes-mainstream-says-KPMG-survey.aspx.

  71. GRI. (2015a). About GRI. https://www.globalreporting.org/Information/about-gri/Pages/default.aspx.

  72. GRI. (2015b). G4 Sustainability reporting guidelines. https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/g4/Pages/default.aspx.

  73. Hardeck, I., & Hertl, R. (2014). Consumer reactions to corporate tax strategies: Effects on corporate reputation and purchasing behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 123, 309–326.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Hardin, G. (1968, December 13). The tragedy of the commons. Science, New Series, 162(3859), 1243–1248.

  75. Hasseldine, J., & Hite, P. A. (2003). Framing, gender and tax compliance. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24, 517–521.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Hasseldine, J., & Morris, G. (2013). Corporate social responsibility and tax avoidance: A comment and reflection. Accounting Forum, 37, 1–14.

    Google Scholar 

  77. Hazlett, T. W., & Skorup, B. (2014). Tragedy of the regulatory commons: Lightsquared and the missing spectrum rights. Duke Law & Technology Review, 13(1), 1–35.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Heffernan, M. (2012, November 13). Why Starbucks’ tax claims don’t wash. Moneywatch. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/why-starbucks-tax-claims-dont-wash/.

  79. Hoi, C. K., Wu, Q., & Zhang, H. (2013, June 17). Is corporate social responsibility (CSR) associated with tax avoidance? Evidence from irresponsible CSR activities. The Accounting Review, 88(6), 2025–2059.

  80. Hornstein, D. T. (1999). Environmental sustainability and environmental justice at the international level: Traces of tension and traces of synergy. Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum, 9(2), 291–302.

    Google Scholar 

  81. International Bar Association. (2013). Tax abuses, poverty and human rights: A report of the International Bar Association’s human rights institute task force on illicit financial flows, poverty and human rights. http://www.ibanet.org/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleUid=4A0CF930-A0D1-4784-8D09-F588DCDDFEA4.

  82. International Tax Review. (2014). Introducing the fair tax mark. http://www.internationaltaxreview.com/Article/3311193/Introducing-the-Fair-Tax-Mark.html.

  83. IRS Oversight Board. (2014). Taxpayer attitude survey. Figure 7. https://www.treasury.gov/IRSOB/reports/Documents/IRSOB%20Taxpayer%20Attitude%20Survey%202014.pdf.

  84. Jackson, K. T. (2010). Global corporate governance: Soft law and reputational accountability. Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 35(1), 41–106.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Jellum, L. D. (2011). Why specific absurdity undermines textualism. Brooklyn Law Review, 76(3), 917–939.

    Google Scholar 

  86. Jus, M. (2015). DJSI: A journey toward sustainability and beyond. Indexology. https://www.indexologyblog.com/2015/10/22/djsi-a-journey-toward-sustainability-and-beyond/.

  87. Kapner, S. (2015, September 1). Etsy faces pressure to abandon Irish tax strategy. The Wall Street Journal. http://www.wsj.com/articles/etsy-faces-pressure-to-abandon-irish-tax-strategy-1441080008.

  88. Karmel, R. S., & Kelly, C. (2009). The hardening of soft law in securities regulation. Brooklyn Journal of International Law, 34, 883.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Kirchler, E. (1999). Reactance to taxation: Employers’ attitudes towards taxes. Journal of Socio-Economics, 28(2), 131–138.

    Google Scholar 

  90. Kirchler, E., Boris, M., & Friedrich, S. (2001). Everyday representations of tax avoidance, tax evasion, and tax flight: Do legal differences matter? Journal of Economic Psychology, 24(4), 535–553.

    Google Scholar 

  91. Kleinbard, E. D. (2013, June 24). Through a latte, darkly: Starbucks’ window into stateless income tax planning. Tax Notes, 139, 1515–1535.

  92. Knuutinen, R. (2014). Corporate social responsibility, taxation, and aggressive tax planning. Nordic Tax Journal, 2014(1), 36–75.

    Google Scholar 

  93. Kornhauser, M. E. (2005). Doing the full monty: Will publicizing tax information increase compliance? Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, 18, 95.

    Google Scholar 

  94. Kornhauser, M. E. (2007). Normative and cognitive aspects of tax compliance: Literature review and recommendations for the IRS regarding individual taxpayers. Taxpayer Advocate Service 2007 Annual Report to Congress, 2, 138–180.

    Google Scholar 

  95. Kotter, J. P., & Heskett, J. L. (1992). Corporate culture and performance. New York: The Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  96. KPMG. (2013). The KPMG survey of corporate responsibility reporting. http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/corporate-responsibility/pages/corporate-responsibility-reporting-survey-2013.aspx.

  97. Lanis, R., & Richardson, G. (2011). The effect of board of director composition on corporate tax aggressiveness. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 30, 50–70.

    Google Scholar 

  98. Lanis, R., & Richardson, G. (2013). Corporate social responsibility and tax aggressiveness: A test of legitimacy theory. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 26(1), 75–100.

    Google Scholar 

  99. Lanis, R., & Richardson, G. (2015). Is corporate social responsibility performance associated with tax avoidance? Journal of Business Ethics, 127(2), 439–457.

    Google Scholar 

  100. Lederman, L. (2003). The interplay between norms and enforcement in tax compliance. Ohio State Law Journal, 64(6), 1453–1514.

    Google Scholar 

  101. Levi, M. (1988). Of rule and revenue. Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  102. Leviner, S. (2009). A new era of tax enforcement: From ‘big stick’ to responsive regulation. University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 42, 381–429.

    Google Scholar 

  103. Lipsett, L. (n.d.). Tax avoidance as a human rights issue. Shift: Putting Principles into Practice. http://www.shiftproject.org/article/tax-abuse-business-and-human-rights-issue.

  104. Listokin, Y., & Schizer, D. M. (2013). I like to pay taxes: Taxpayer support for government spending and the efficiency of the tax system. Tax Law Review, 66, 185–186.

    Google Scholar 

  105. López, M., Garcia, A., & Rodriguez, L. (2007). Sustainable development and corporate performance: A study based on the Dow Jones sustainability Index. Journal of Business Ethics, 75(3), 285–300.

    Google Scholar 

  106. Lurie, A. D. (2004). How tax shelters evolved: The road from Crane has been paved with bad contentions. Journal of Taxation, 100(5), 274–286.

    Google Scholar 

  107. Martinez, L. P. (1994). Taxes, morals, and legitimacy. Brigham Young University Law Review, 1994(3), 541–569.

    Google Scholar 

  108. Martinez, L. P. (2004). The trouble with taxes: fairness, tax policy, and the constitution. Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 31, 413–446.

    Google Scholar 

  109. Martinez, L. P. (2013). Structural impediments to tax reform: The environment as case study. Florida Tax Review, 14(2), 45–75.

    Google Scholar 

  110. Merle, R.& Johnson, C. Y. (2016). Pfizer, Allergan call off $160 billion merger after U.S. moves to block inversions. Washington Post.

  111. McClure, C. E. (2008). Legislative, judicial, soft law, and cooperative approaches to harmonizing corporate income taxes in the US and the EU. Columbia Journal of European Law, 14, 377–444.

    Google Scholar 

  112. Mehrotra, A. K. (2005). Envisioning the modern American fiscal state: Progressive-era economists and the intellectual foundations of the U.S. income tax. UCLA Law Review, 52, 1793–1866.

    Google Scholar 

  113. Mehrotra, A. K. (2015). Reviving fiscal citizenship. Michigan Law Review, 113, 943–971.

    Google Scholar 

  114. Miller, J. A. (1993). Indeterminacy, complexity, and fairness: Justifying rule simplification in the law of taxation. Washington Law Review, 68(1), 1–78.

    Google Scholar 

  115. Morse, S. C. (2013). The transfer pricing regs need a good edit. Pepperdine Law Review, 40, 1439.

    Google Scholar 

  116. Murphy, R. (2012, November 13). Amazon, Google and Starbucks are struggling to defend their tax avoidance. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/nov/13/amazon-google-starbucks-tax-avoidance.

  117. New York Times Editorial Board. (2015, November 24). Pfizer’s big breakthrough: global tax avoidance. New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/24/opinion/pfizers-big-breakthrough-global-tax-avoidance.html.

  118. Nov, A. (2006). The “bidding war” to attract foreign direct investment: The need for a global solution. Virginia Tax Review, 25(4), 835–874.

    Google Scholar 

  119. Olawuyi, D. S. (2015). The emergence of rights-based approaches to resource governances in Africa: False start or new dawn? Sustainable Development Law & Policy, 15(2), 13–22.

    Google Scholar 

  120. Ordower, H. (2010). The culture of tax avoidance. Saint Louis University Law Journal, 55, 47–128.

    Google Scholar 

  121. Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development. (2015). OECD/G20 base erosion and profit shifting project: Explanatory statement. http://www.oecd.org/ctp/beps-explanatory-statement-2015.pdf.

  122. Paine, L., Deshpandé, R., Margolis, J. D., & Bettcher, E. (2005). Up to code: Does your company’s conduct meet world-class standards? Harvard Business Review, 83(12), 122–133.

    Google Scholar 

  123. Park, S. K., & Berger-Walliser, G. (2015). A firm driven approach to global governance and sustainability. American Business Law Journal, 52(2), 255–314.

    Google Scholar 

  124. Pew Research Center. (2015). Federal tax system seen in need of overhaul—Top complaints: Wealthy corporations ‘don’t pay fair share’. http://www.people-press.org/2015/03/19/federal-tax-system-seen-in-need-of-overhaul/.

  125. Picolotti, R. (2000). Human rights accountability of private business: A question of sustainable development. American Society of International Law Proceedings, 94, 216.

    Google Scholar 

  126. Pietruszkiewicz, C. M. (2005). Does the internal revenue service have a duty to treat similarly situated taxpayers similarly? University of Cincinnati Law Review, 74, 531–576.

    Google Scholar 

  127. Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2002). The competitive advantage of corporate philanthropy. Harvard Business Review, 80(12), 56–69.

    Google Scholar 

  128. Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2006). Strategy and society: The link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 84(12), 78–92.

    Google Scholar 

  129. Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Creating shared value. Harvard Business Review, 89(1–2), 1–17.

    Google Scholar 

  130. Prebble, Z. M., & Prebble, J. (2010). The morality of tax avoidance. Creighton Law Review, 43(3), 693–745.

    Google Scholar 

  131. Preuss, L. (2010). Tax avoidance and corporate social responsibility: You can’t do both or can you? Corporate Governance, 10(4), 365–374.

    Google Scholar 

  132. Raskolnikov, A. (2007). The cost of norms: Tax effects of tacit understandings. University of Chicago Law Review, 74(2), 601–685.

    Google Scholar 

  133. Raskolnikov, A. (2009). Revealing choices: Using taxpayer choice to target tax enforcement. Columbia Law Review, 109(4), 689–753.

    Google Scholar 

  134. Richardson, G., Taylor, G., & Lanis, R. (2013). The impact of board of director oversight characteristics on corporate tax aggressiveness: an empirical analysis. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 32, 68–88.

    Google Scholar 

  135. RobecoSAM. (2014a). Company benchmarking scorecard 2014: Ford Motor Co. http://corporate.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2014-15/doc/sr14-robecosam-djsi-scorecard.pdf.

  136. RobecoSAM. (2014b). DJSI 2014 review results. http://www.sustainability-indices.com/images/DJSI_Review_Presentation_09_2014_final.pdf.

  137. RobecoSAM. (2015a). DJSI family overview. http://www.sustainability-indices.com/index-family-overview/djsi-family-overview/index.jsp.

  138. RobecoSAM. (2015b). Recognition & credibility. http://www.sustainability-indices.com/sustainability-assessment/recognition.jsp.

  139. RobecoSAM. (2015c). RobecoSAM’s corporate sustainability assessment companion. http://www.sustainability-indices.com/images/RobecoSAM-Corporate-Sustainability-Assessment-Companion.pdf.

  140. Rose, P. (2010). Regulating risk by “strengthening corporate governance”. Connecticut Insurance Law Journal, 17(1), 1–26.

    Google Scholar 

  141. Sarfaty, G. (2013). Regulating by numbers: A case study of corporate sustainability reporting. Virginia Journal of International Law, 53, 575–621.

    Google Scholar 

  142. Sauer, D. A. (1997). The impact of social-responsibility screens on investment performance: Evidence from the domini 400 social index and domini equity mutual fund. Review of Financial Economics, 6(2), 137–149.

    Google Scholar 

  143. Scheffer, D. (2013). The ethical imperative of curbing corporate tax avoidance. Ethics and International Affairs, 27(4), 361–369.

    Google Scholar 

  144. Scholz, J. T. (2003). Contractual compliance and the federal income tax system. Washington University Journal of Law and Policy, 13, 139–203.

    Google Scholar 

  145. Schumacher, S. A. (2008). Macniven v. Westmoreland and tax advice: Using “purposive textualism” to deal with tax shelters and promote legitimate tax advice. Marquette Law Review, 92(33), 33–102.

    Google Scholar 

  146. Scott, C. (2014). Fair tax mark to reward tax justice. The Guardian. http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/fair-tax-mark-to-reward-tax-justice.

  147. Shaffer, G. C., & Pollack, M. A. (2010). Hard versus soft law: Alternatives, complements, and antagonists in international governance. Minnesota Law Review, 94, 706–799.

    Google Scholar 

  148. Shankleman, J. (2014). Siemens, Unilever and Swiss Re named world's most sustainable companies. BusinessGreen. http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2364720/siemens-unilever-and-swiss-re-named-worlds-most-sustainable-companies.

  149. Sheffer, D. (2013). The ethical imperative of curbing corporate tax avoidance. Ethics & International Affairs, 27(4), 361–369.

    Google Scholar 

  150. Sheppard, B. (2014). Norm supercompliance and the status of soft law. Buffalo Law Review, 62(4), 797–879.

    Google Scholar 

  151. Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. W. (1997). A survey of corporate governance. Journal of Finance, 52(2), 737–783.

    Google Scholar 

  152. Sikka, P. (2010). Smoke and mirrors: Corporate social responsibility and tax avoidance. Accounting Forum, 34, 153–168.

    Google Scholar 

  153. Simon, K. W. (1991). Congress and taxes: A separation of powers analysis. University of Miami Law Review, 45, 1005–1049.

    Google Scholar 

  154. Singer, T. (2012). Linking executive compensation to sustainability performance. The Conference Board. https://www.conference-board.org/retrievefile.cfm?filename=TCB-DN-V4N11-12.pdf&type=subsite.

  155. Sison, A. J. G. (2008). Corporate governance and ethics: An Aristotelian perspective. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  156. Spence, D. (2011). Corporate social responsibility in the oil and gas industry: The importance of reputational risk. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 86(1), 59–85.

    Google Scholar 

  157. Stark, R. C. (2001, April 2). A principled approach to collection and accuracy-related penalties. Tax Notes, pp. 115–149.

  158. Stewart, J. (2015). The corporate tax regime and industrial policy in Ireland. IIIS discussion paper no. 469.

  159. Stout, J. H., & Li, R. (2004). Corporate governance and organizational integrity. University of St. Thomas Law Journal, 1(2), 925–950.

    Google Scholar 

  160. Surowiecki, J. (2016). Why firms are fleeing. The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/01/11/why-firms-are-fleeing.

  161. Swank, D. (1998). Funding the welfare state: Globalization and the taxation of business in advanced market economies. Political Studies, 66, 671–692.

    Google Scholar 

  162. Thompson, M. (2012, December 3). UK targets Google, Amazon, Starbucks on taxes. CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2012/12/03/news/uk-tax-avoidance/.

  163. Thompson, L. D. (2015). The responsible corporation: Its historical roots and continuing promise. Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, 29(1), 199–230.

    Google Scholar 

  164. Tolan, P. E. (2012). It’s about time: Registration and regulation will boost competence and accountability of paid tax preparers. Virginia Tax Review, 31(3), 471–544.

    Google Scholar 

  165. Torgler, B. (2002). Speaking to theorists and searching for facts: Tax morale and tax compliance in experiments. Journal of Economic Survey, 16, 663.

    Google Scholar 

  166. Torgler, B. (2005). Tax morale and direct democracy. European Journal of Political Economy, 21(2), 531.

    Google Scholar 

  167. Torgler, B. (2006). The importance of faith: Tax morale and religiosity. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 61(1), 81–109.

    Google Scholar 

  168. Torgler, B., & Schneider, F. (2007, June). What shapes attitudes toward paying taxes? Evidence from multicultural European countries. Social Science Quarterly, 88(2), 443–470.

  169. Trivedi, V. U., Shehata, M., & Lynn, B. (2003). Impact of personal and situational factors on taxpayer compliance: An experimental analysis. Journal of Business Ethics, 47, 179.

    Google Scholar 

  170. Tsoukala, P. (2013). Narratives of the European crisis and the future of (social) Europe. Texas International Law Journal, 48, 241–267.

    Google Scholar 

  171. United Nations Association in Canada. (2013). The human rights approach to sustainable development: Environmental rights, public participation, and human security. http://unac.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/HRandSD-EN-PDF.pdf.

  172. United Nations Development Programme. (2011). Human development report 2011: Sustainability and equality. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/271/hdr_2011_en_complete.pdf.

  173. Urdangarin, J., & Vanderbeek, B. (2015). 6 Reasons to respond to the Dow Jones sustainability index survey. GreenBiz. http://www.greenbiz.com/article/six-reasons-respond-dow-jones-sustainability-index-survey.

  174. United States General Assembly. (1948). Universal declaration of human rights. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/.

  175. van Marrewijk, M. (2003). Concepts and definitions of CSR and corporate sustainability: Between agency and communion. Journal of Business Ethics, 44(2/3), 95–105.

    Google Scholar 

  176. Verlarde, A. (2015, July 13). Will Wal-Mart’s short-term loan plan drive change? Tax Notes Today. TNT 133-1.

  177. Vina, G. (2012, November 12). UK lawmakers accuse Starbucks, Amazon, Google of tax avoidance. Bloomberg. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-11-13/u-k-lawmakers-accuse-starbucks-amazon-google-of-tax-avoidance.

  178. Vogel, D. (2005). The market for virtue: The potential and limits of corporate social responsibility. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.

    Google Scholar 

  179. Wade, C. L. (2006). Transforming discriminatory corporate cultures: This is not just women’s work. Maryland Law Review, 65(2), 346–379.

    Google Scholar 

  180. Watson, L. (2015). Corporate social responsibility, tax avoidance, and earnings performance. Journal of the American Taxation Association, 37(2), 1–21.

    Google Scholar 

  181. Weisbach, D. A. (2002). An economic analysis of anti-tax-avoidance doctrines. American Law and Economics Review, 4(1), 88–115.

    Google Scholar 

  182. Williams, R. (2011). The numbers: How does federal government spend its money? Tax Policy Center. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/expenses.cfm.

  183. Wood, R. W. (2012). Facebook mirrors Google’s offshore tax scheme. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2012/12/27/facebook-mirrors-googles-offshore-tax-scheme/.

  184. World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.un-documents.net/our-common-future.pdf.

  185. Yin, G. K. (2012). Principles and practices to enhance compliance and enforcement of the personal income tax. Virginia Tax Review, 31(3), 381–411.

    Google Scholar 

  186. Zarya, V. (2015). Etsy’s Dublin HQ isn’t a secret—And neither is Ireland’s tax rate. Fortune. http://fortune.com/2015/08/14/etsy-ireland-tax-home/.

  187. Zolt, E. (2014). Politics and taxation: An introduction. Tax Law Review, 67, 453–469.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Karie Davis-Nozemack.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bird, R., Davis-Nozemack, K. Tax Avoidance as a Sustainability Problem. J Bus Ethics 151, 1009–1025 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3162-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Tax avoidance
  • Tax
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Soft law