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Title: General anti-avoidance rules for major developing countries: a comparative taxation approach
Author: Rosenblatt, Paulo
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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A GAAR is controversial: it confers great powers on tax officials but has not provided a complete solution to tax avoidance. Nevertheless, the idea of a GAAR has spread worldwide. Tax avoidance is not exclusive to advanced economies but also harmful to developing countries. International Financial Institutions have recently recommended a GAAR 'menu or tool kit' for developing countries. However, a number of differences between developed and developing countries suggest they should have different approaches in this field. There has been little research on adequate tax reforms for these countries. This thesis addresses this lacuna by discussing a workable GAAR for major developing countries. It considers the lessons from selected countries and what can be adapted to developing countries' circumstances. Comparative taxation is a useful tool to identify similarities and differences between systems, to provide a framework for comparing potential solutions to common policy issues and to promote law reform. The research acknowledges the limits to comparative taxation and the cautions needed in legal transplants. The design analysis focuses on the primary common elements of GAARs - scheme or arrangement, tax benefit and purpose - and secondary, nonessential tests - reasonableness, artificiality, abnormality, substance-over-form, economic reality, business purpose, non-tax purpose and abuse of law. The analysis is based on statutory provisions, discussion papers and case law mainly. Given that discretion is an unavoidable feature of GAARs, the thesis discusses how this power can be limited to provide a balance between protecting the tax base and securing legitimate tax planning. This thesis assumes that a GAAR may bring uncertainty to any system. Nonetheless, the hypothesis is that a narrowly drafted GAAR containing clear criteria and essential taxpayers' safeguards- although this may restrict its scope of generalitycan be an appropriate measure for developing countries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available