Illicit financial flows

Date: 29 October 2019

Venue: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus, Aula R.002 - Building R, Rodestraat 14 - 2000 Antwerpen (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: IOB and USOS

Short description: Debate by Sol Picciotto (Lancaster University), Atul K. Shah (City University London) and Cassandra Vet (IOB)

About the debate

The Global Financial Crisis drew attention to the spread of illicit financial flows within our economy and the adverse role of these illegitimate financial practices on development. One clear example of these, at times legal but mostly unethical, financial flows are the structures set up by transnational enterprises (TNCs) to avoid corporate taxation. In fact, TNCs and their tax advisors successfully avoid taxation by using the complexity and the loopholes within the international regime of taxation to their own advantage.

However, as Prof. Sol Picciotto will highlight in this debate, the complexity and inadequacy of these rules is not accidental and TNCs, with the help of their tax advisors, historically shaped these rules in their favor. Thus, the tax advisory industry plays a contested role in global tax avoidance, and Prof. Atul Shah will shed light on how the Big Four accountancy firms effectively reduced the costs of tax avoidance for TNCs. Thereby, this debate puts the recent tax avoidance scandals within a more global problem of corporate governance.

Contact email:

Contact phone: 03 265 56 54