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International Tax Planning, Tax Avoidance and Corporate Social Responsibility

Knuutinen, Reijo

Artikkelit, Asiantuntija-artikkeli
Alkuperäinen julkaisupäivä: 5.9.2013


The society expects companies to act socially responsible. In this article, the author reviews international tax planning and tax avoidance in the light of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Increasing globalization and the amount of cross-border business makes local taxation of companies more difficult, especially regarding large multinational enterprises (MNEs). The phrase “aggressive tax planning”, has been recently used on several occasions. Companies often defend their tax strategies and actions as being in obeyance of the laws and regulations. But for society, this is not always enough. The ultimate aim of tax law is to divide the tax burden in a just and fair manner. Laws and regulations do not always ensure that.
In cross-border situations, it may be justified to expect that MNEs would pay their fair share of taxes to each country. It can be argued that tax planning activities using different kinds of loopholes and incompatibilities are not socially responsible actions when the outcome is that a company obviously does not pay its fair share of taxes to the country in which it carries out its business.

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