For the first time, Human Rights and Tax in an Unequal World brings together works by human rights and tax law experts, to illustrate the linkages between the two fields and to reveal their mutual relevance in tackling economic, social, and political inequalities. Against the backdrop of systemic corporate tax avoidance, the widespread use of tax havens, persistent pressures to embrace austerity policies, and growing gaps between the rich and poor, this book encourages readers to understand fiscal policy as human rights policy, with profound consequences for the wellbeing of citizens around the world.
The essays collected examine where the foundational principles of tax law and human rights law intersect and diverge; discuss the cross-border nature and human rights impacts of abusive practices like tax avoidance and evasion; question the role of states in bringing transparency and accountability to tax policies and practices; highlight the responsibility of private sector actors for the consequences of tax laws; and critically evaluate certain domestic tax rules through the lens of equality and non-discrimination. The contributing scholars and practitioners explore how an international human rights framework can anchor debates around international tax reform and domestic fiscal consolidation in existing state obligations. They address what human rights law requires of state tax policies, and what a state’s tax laws and loopholes mean for the enjoyment of human rights within and outside its borders. Ultimately, tax and human rights both turn on the relationship between the individual and the state, and thus both fields face crises as the social contract frays and populist, illiberal regimes are on the rise.