The Department for International Development White Paper says:
The UK will consult on a proposal to create a new International Taxation Centre to improve research in this area. The Centre would be a partnership hosted by a research institution and would work with international partners such as the International Tax Dialogue. It would help developing countries build the legitimacy and effectiveness of their tax systems.
This is excellent news. We need such a centre. I called for funding of this sort in the Independent on Saturday:
However, if the Automatic Information Exchange (AIE) lobby does not make progress soon, it could find it difficult to continue much longer. It is, essentially, a group of six or seven tax experts backed by a handful of organisations with little money to spare. It is up against the big-business lobby which has almost unlimited funds. “A very small number of people have created most of the debate,” says Murphy.
“Very little money is coming from the Government to fund this thinking. I am genuinely worried that the momentum for change will slow down for that reason.”
That is true. And to be linked to a university would be very useful indeed. But please, make it anywhere but the Oxford Centre for Business Taxation. Surely there ties with big business will rule them out? I hope so.