This chapter introduces the issue of tax avoidance, a problem produced by the tax system itself when it begins to distinguish between different categories of taxpayers. Tax avoidance becomes an international problem when taxpayers utilise the variance that exists between different national tax regimes to reduce their total tax obligation. After unpacking the terms involved, the chapter provides a brief historical context to situate the current issues of concern, which are exemplified in the public consciousness by the Panama Papers. The fact that measures to address tax avoidance are crafted in the Global North, for the benefit of their economies, is highlighted to emphasise that tax avoidance is yet another instance where global governance is established to satisfy the demands of the powerful states.
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