The reform of international taxation -- how national tax systems interact with each other – is an issue that is always technically complex, often economically significant, and sometimes politically explosive. Some expect major changes in international taxation in the near future but no one yet knows what changes might made or when, how, and how effectively they might be implemented. Instead of speculating about such matters, this paper considers the process by which countries are attempting to reform international taxation problems, essentially through complex technical and political negotiations intended to produce an improved set of “soft” law arrangements, adherence to which will, as in the present system, be essentially voluntary. The current process, although under the aegis of the OECD, is considerably more inclusive than earlier negotiations on international taxation, which were largely between developed countries that were predominantly capital exporters. Greater inclusivity may make negotiations more difficult to conclude successfully but it may also result in a system that will be more widely accepted as fair. Moreover, experience gained through the present prolonged and intensive negotiations on international taxation may perhaps suggest a more fruitful approach to dealing with such other “global public goods” problems as climate change.
Bird, Richard M., "Reforming International Taxation: Is the Process the Real Product?" (2015). ICEPP Working Papers. 206.