Professor Antonio De Vito, Alma Mater University of Bologna and IE Business School, is an accomplished researcher and a member of the Editorial Boards of the Journal of International Accounting, Auditing, and Taxation, and Accounting in Europe. His research into the Global Minimum Tax was the feature of an insight in the recently published Routledge-CoBS book Responsible Finance & Accounting. Here, Prof. De Vito states the case for the reform.
The Global Minimum Tax: Painful yet gainful for both the company and society by Tom Gamble and Antonio De Vito. Reference: Barake, M., Neef, T., Chouc, P., Zucman, G. (2021) Revenue effects of the global minimum tax, Eutax Observatory, accessed online at: www.taxobservatory.eu, December 2022.
Companies, much like people, are always looking for a good deal. With globalisation and the increasing trend for enterprises to set up operations abroad and tap into uncharted markets, the opportunities to boost revenues through their products and services have never been more readily reachable. Opportunities too, have come in the form of tax avoidance – or put more euphemistically, tax optimisation. *
“Needless to say,” says Prof. De Vito, “tax avoidance is a serious threat to governments’ funding. And in this light, the global minimum tax could be a solution to end tax avoidance as long as it is properly implemented.”
Tax: Groans but benefits
Despite possible groans from the financial and accounting departments of corporations the world over – after all, their job is to ensure their organizations’ profit maximization and financial health – this could spell benefits for companies. How? “Increased interest in tax policies and media scrutiny into whether companies are paying their fair share of taxes,” states Antonio De Vito, “have led to firms’ tax planning activities becoming an ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) matter. Companies are adopting a multi-stakeholder approach by implementing tax strategies that are in line with ESG commitments to build public trust.”
Moreover, this is important in terms of a firm’s market value, for ESG criteria are used by investors to screen their investment decisions based on corporate policies and how responsibly companies act in their business dealings.
A taxing thought?
Prof. Antonio De Vito would like to see the Global Minimum Tax implemented by all countries that signed off the OECD plan in October 2021. Indeed, despite the challenges, government reticence, and corporate lobbying, in early 2023, the OECD issued fresh guidelines to help governments across the globe to implement the reform to the international tax system which will see a 15% minimum tax rate applied to multinational enterprises.
“As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr once famously said,” concludes Prof. Antonio De Vito, Taxes are what we pay for civilized society. Hopefully, my insight included in the Routledge-CoBS book Responsible Finance & Accounting will spur the discussion about the importance of contributing with the fair share of taxes.”
*Excerpt, page 43, Responsible Finance & Accounting: Performance and profit for better business, society and planet, Antonio de Vito.
- Link up with Prof. De Vito on LinkedIn
- Visit Antonio De Vito’s website
- Read a related article: Profit shifting: How do the big audit firms fare?
- Discover the other books in the Routledge-CoBS focus on responsible business series.
Learn more about the Council on Business & Society
The Council on Business & Society (The CoBS), visionary in its conception and purpose, was created in 2011, and is dedicated to promoting responsible leadership and tackling issues at the crossroads of business and society including sustainability, diversity, ethical leadership and the place responsible business has to play in contributing to the common good.
Member schools are all “Triple Crown” accredited AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA and leaders in their respective countries.
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- Keio Business School, Japan
- Smith School of Business, Canada
- Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa
- Trinity Business School, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
- Warwick Business School, United Kingdom.