Time for a World Tax Organisation

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A new staff paper from the IMF looks at the issue of “Long-Term Trends in Public Finances in the G-7 Economies”.

There is content I disagree with in the paper. But on the issue of tax evasion the comment made is welcome. It says, when discussing the adjustments needed to ensure that governments manage the new demands likely to be made of them, that:

Fifth, any adjustment strategy will have to be equitable. This includes ensuring intergenerational equity and an adequate social safety net and provision of public services that allow a level playing field, regardless of conditions at birth. Moreover, an equitable adjustment will require a more energetic fight against tax evasion and erosion, both nationally and internationally. The recent initiatives undertaken to fight tax havens are an important development in this respect. But more coordination is needed among tax administrations of various countries and among tax policies, in a globalized economy. Maybe it is time to revive the idea of a World Tax Organization to address these coordination issues.

The unspeakable is being spoken.

About time too.

Keynes wanted such an organisation as part of Bretton Woods. It’s long overdue we had it.