The Interface of International Trade Law and Taxation

This book offers an in-depth legal, historical and reform-orientated analysis of the reach of the World Trade Organization’s rules in the field of taxation.

Winner of the 2011 Mitchell B. Carroll Prize awarded by the International Fiscal Association (IFA).

 

Why this book?

This book explores the ill-defined and oft-underestimated relationship between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and taxation. By adopting a two-pronged approach, the relationship is examined in terms of the extent to which the WTO legal framework exerts influence upon domestic tax law and international tax policy, and whether it is appropriate for the WTO to play a regulatory role in the field of taxation.


The book begins with an examination of the historical development of international trade law and international tax law, and demonstrates that these two separate areas of law are closely linked in terms of their underlying principles and historical evolution. The work then goes on to offer a doctrinal analysis of the tax content found in the WTO legal texts and highlights ambiguities therein.


It is argued that the WTO plays a crucial role in regulating taxation matters, but that the rules pertaining to taxation are often unmanageably ambiguous, which may result in unforeseen conflicts with domestic and international tax policy. Four recommendations are offered in this thesis to resolve this legal ambiguity: a reappraisal of the direct-indirect tax distinction, the clarification of legal texts, the establishment of a WTO Committee on Trade and Taxation, and the development of institutional linkages and dialogue between the WTO and the traditional international tax institutions.

 

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This book is part of the IBFD Doctoral Series

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Author(s)

Dr Jennifer E. Farrell is an Assistant Professor of tax law at the Faculty of Law, Western University, Canada. She researches and lectures in the areas of international tax law, UK and Canadian tax law, and international trade law. Before joining Western University, she held research positions at UK law and business schools, and as a Marie Curie Fellow in International Taxation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Dr Farrell’s work was awarded the 2011 Mitchell B. Carroll Prize by the International Fiscal Association.