In solving the problem of multinational tax avoidance, what seems to be missing is a collaborative approach.
At the present time, individual companies compete with one another. Each tries to find the biggest loopholes in international tax they can.
Yet, companies are full of people. Even CEO’s, directors and shareholders are people. People want to live in a society that works. Where they aren’t stabbed on the street by hordes of beggars. They therefore have an interest in seeing the international taxation system tightened up, so that their competitors can’t get ahead through avoiding tax.
One approach to find a solution is to ask those who are expert at the problem. See international companies as members of tribe that is currently facing a tragedy of the commons. To avoid such a tragedy, coordination is needed.
Normally, that would come through centralised leadership. In this case, there are no centralised bodies capable of being trusted to police, or competent enough to make rules for, the world’s multinationals.
Indeed, nations currently compete to reduce taxation to attract MNCs. They are like a fish species that WANT to be over-fished, and so fight amongst each other to jump in the fishing boats!!
However, asking the fishermen to coordinate might work. Similar to a citizen’s jury, invite corporations into a process whereby they collectively suggest, negotiate and hammer out sensible taxation rules, and ways to police them.
The UN might be up to such a task, but so might the World Bank or IMF. Depending upon who the MNCs feel would be most effective. Remember, the MNCs have an interest in making this work, because social chaos helps no one – least of all their customers.