3. Turkish-German Biennial on International Tax Law

The conference focus on the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the MLI) that is one of the outcomes of the OECD/G20 Project to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The MLI provides signatory jurisdictions an effective way to quickly implement BEPS measures including minimum standards that first OECD and G20 countries and then the Inclusive Framework countries have agreed that must be implemented. The speakers in the first session will discuss this international treaty from international public law and policy perspective. The second session’s speakers will go details of two important substantive articles of the MLI. Tax administration and private sectors professionals from two signatories of the MLI namely Germany and Turkey will discuss practical implications of the MLI based on the German-Turkish double tax treaty in the third session.

COFFERS researchers featured in Global Tax 50

Earlier this month, the International Tax Review released the Global Tax 50 for 2017, its annual rundown of the most influential individuals, organisations, geopolitical events, and trends in the tax world. Two COFFERS researchers were featured in the rankings, with Richard Murphy from City, University of London ranked in the top 10 and Rasmus Corlin Christensen from Copenhagen Business School also ranked. Murphy has featured on six of the past seven lists while this was Christensen’s first entry. The honors are a testament to the impact being made by COFFERS researchers in the wider tax community based on our ongoing work.


COFFERS first Annual General Assembly

The extended COFFERS consortium enjoyed a productive two days in Prague for our first Annual General Assembly. Hosted by our partners at Charles University and attended by Senior Advisory Board members, Jane McCormick (Global Head of Tax, KPMG); Professor Sol Picciotto (Lancaster University and Onati Institute), Professor Brigitte Young (Munster University) and Burkhard Mühl (Austrian Ministry of Interior) the meeting took stock of where COFFERS is and where COFFERS is going. Discussions included presentations on the tax implications of the Legal Entity Identifier, developments in the taxation of portfolio income, the tax gap and techniques for mapping tax ecosystem evolution.



Tax justice, the new Washington consensus?

Coffers’ researcher Alex Cobham from Tax Justice Network recently spoke at an event entitled ‘Technical challenges and solutions for taxing wealth in developing countries’ at the World Bank/International Monetary Fund annual meetings on 15th October 2017. Is a new Washington Consensus emerging to replace the old one, which arguably has contributed to growing economic inequalities?

The main criticisms of the IMF have centred on its leading role in promoting a ‘tax consensus‘ that not only lacks a sound economic rationale, but that has demonstrably damaged the benefits of tax for many lower-income countries. The approach, in simple terms, has emphasised indirect taxes at the expense of direct taxes; VAT over trade taxes; set a low revenue ambition, and left redistribution to be done through (limited) expenditure. More than ten years ago, the Fund’s own Fiscal Affairs Department – and Michael Keen in particular, now the department’s deputy director – published research showing how the introduction of VAT on this basis failed to replace crucial revenues for lower income countries. Equity, too, has long been an element of the Fund’s thinking. But for many years the organisation’s country advice, where policy decisions are influenced, continued to bang the same drum.

read more here: https://www.taxjustice.net/2017/10/19/tax-justice-new-washington-consensus/

COFFERS featured in Danish media on Paradise Papers

In the wake of the Paradise Papers, a number of COFFERS researchers have featured in the media, sharing their expertise and views on the leaks. In Denmark, major newspaper Jyllands-Posten featured Copenhagen Business School researcher Rasmus Corlin Christensen discussing the rise of tax policy onto the global political agenda. On COFFERS, the article stated: “With participation from 10 universities and civil society organisations, the COFFERS project is – amongst other things – looking at how the international tax system works. It is one of the largest research projects in the EU to look at international taxation.

Master of TAX Course: Combating Fiscal Fraud and Empowering Regulators

The European Union confronts expanded inequalities across a range of areas from gender, to generations, wealth, mobility and opportunity. One underlying factor common to these expanded inequalities is deficiencies in fiscal systems. The ‘Combatting Fiscal Fraud and Empowering Regulators’ (COFFERS) project seeks to redress these deficiencies as policy innovation at national, regional and international levels undergoes a period of accelerated development.

As a part of the Impact dimension (WP7) of the COFFERS project the project team is offering a high-level course. The course is coordinated by Professor Richard Murphy and targets those working on tax issues within the public and private spheres in Europe. 

Full course description and registration here.

COFFERS meets FairTax:

Joint Perspectives on Fair and Sustainable Taxation – Open research seminar Brussels, November 21st 2017

The EU confronts increasing and persistent inequalities in income, wealth and opportunity and between generations, gender and regions. One common underlying factor is deficiencies in fiscal systems. FairTax tries to find answers how fair and sustainable taxation and social policy reforms can increase the economic stability of EU Member States. COFFERS identifies deficiencies and opportunities for upgrading in tax law, tax policy development, tax administration and enforcement.

To see the full program go here:

To register for this event, please go here:


Utrecht University organizes a COFFERS-panel in Oslo

On September 7, 2017, Dr. Joras Ferwerda (Utrecht University) chaired a COFFERS-themed panel at the ECPR conference called ‘Fighting Tax Avoidance and Tax Crimes in the European Union’. Other COFFERS-participants were Miroslav Palansky (Charles University Prague), Lukas Hakelberg (University of Bamberg) and Ruth Lynch  and Martin Joseph Laheen (both University of Limerick). Each of the four attending COFFERS-partners presented relevant ongoing research on tax evasion. The panel was open to all participants of the ECPR conference and was well attended. Dr. Ainsley Elbra (University of Sydney) acted as outside discussant to give the COFFERS-members feedback from outside the consortium. The ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) General Conference is the main academic event for political scientists in Europe.

Link to the ‘COFFERS-themed panel’: https://ecpr.eu/Events/PanelDetails.aspx?PanelID=7150&EventID=96


                                       Picture: Miroslav Palansky presenting with Lukas Hakelberg also in the frame.


Presentation at IIPF 2017

Petr Janský of Charles University took part in the 73rd Annual Congress of the International Institute of Public Finance (IIPF 2017), held in Tokyo, on August 18-20, 2017. He made two presentations at the congress. In one presentation titled “Estimating the Scale of Profit Shifting and Tax Revenue Losses Related to Foreign Direct Investment”, he presented some recent findings from research with his COFFERS colleague Miroslav Palanský on the tax revenue losses due to tax havens, as well as some other research on the scale of profit shifting. In the other presentation titled “Country-by-Country Reporting Data and Locations of European Banks: Profits Shifted to Tax Havens, Turnover and Employees Elsewhere?”, he presented some preliminary results for banks and profit shifting and discussed the usefulness of the recently published country-by-country reporting data.


The Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation publishes a policy paper on tax avoidance in the common market by COFFERS researcher Lukas Hakelberg

In his paper, Lukas shows how the liberalization of the common market facilitated cross-border mergers and transactions between related firms. Policymakers knew this would intensify tax competition among member states. Yet, fundamental disagreement between capital importing and capital exporting countries paired with the unanimity requirement in tax matters kept them from harmonizing their corporate tax rules. As a result of the persisting mismatches between national tax systems and the free movement of capital, tax avoidance is today easier inside the common market than in the rest of the world.

The common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB), which the European Commission currently proposes, may provide a remedy to profit shifting inside the EU, if adopted. It foresees the EU-wide introduction of unitary taxation with formulary apportionment. That is, a multinational group’s total profit in the common market is calculated by aggregating the revenues and expenses of its European subsidiaries. As a result, a profit that is shifted from one subsidiary to the other will always be included in the group’s result, no matter in which member state it is recorded. Subsequently, the group’s profit is divided among member states based on sales, local workforce, and fixed assets. Intellectual property and other intangible assets are explicitly excluded. Continue reading “The Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation publishes a policy paper on tax avoidance in the common market by COFFERS researcher Lukas Hakelberg”