Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Fall 10-1-2017

Abstract

Migration, broadly defined, characterizes the movement of peoples and businesses across borders. The latter part of the 20th century saw notable business expansion across borders spurred by currency, capital, and investment restrictions and by the increased ability to manage global activities through technology and communications. Twenty plus years into this business globalization, we have witnessed the dramatic rise of transparency and disclosure rules and regimes. These regimes, which have dominated much of global international tax reform, include: (1) country-by-country reporting of tax information, (2) automatic exchange of tax rulings among jurisdictions, and (3) disclosure of beneficial ownership of entities. In this symposium essay, I suggest that the increased transparency and disclosure are the consequence of the increased business border flexibility. Although modern business migration is the fundamental force underpinning the creation of new reporting and disclosure regimes, the regimes’ precise shape and timing are a function of convulsive triggers such as tax leaks that drive specific moments of reform.

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