Every country has the right to choose the form of taxation it wants. But when the Netherlands offers tailored tax deals to multinationals or Switzerland keeps the wealth of corrupt elites out of sight in its coffers, they steal the revenue of other nations. And while we lose, they win: through fees (sometimes a great influence on the international stage), and even – the supreme irony – actual tax revenue.
Take Ireland. Thirty years ago, when its corporation tax rate was 50%, Ireland collected less revenue from companies as a share of its national income than the US or the EU as a whole. Since it cut its rate to 12.5% in the 1990s – it has collected much more than high-tax countries. Is it because low taxes have spurred domestic activity, employment and growth? Not at all: the extra revenue originates from the fictitious profits that multinationals park in Dublin or Cork: profits generated by workers in other countries. The Irish government thus gets more income to spend on roads or hospitals; other countries get less. Nothing in the logic of free exchange justifies this theft.
Vir: Gabriel Zucman, The Guardian